Separated Friends Quotes

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Can miles truly separate you from friends... If you want to be with someone you love, aren't you already there?
Richard Bach
A messy house is a must - it separates your true friends from other friends. Real friends are there to visit you not your house!
Jennifer Wilson
There is one friend in the life of each of us who seems not a separate person, however dear and beloved, but an expansion, an interpretation, of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul.
Edith Wharton
Every person needs to take one day away.  A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future.  Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence.  Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
Maya Angelou (Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now)
Always remember that you were once alone, and the crowd you see in your life today are just as unecessary as when you were alone.
Michael Bassey Johnson
The distant soul can shake the distant friend's soul and make the longing felt, over untold miles.
John Masefield
Have you ever felt really close to someone? So close that you can't understand why you and the other person have two separate bodies, two separate skins?
Nancy Garden (Annie on My Mind)
I surveyed the rest of the Council and looked directly at Mahon. “Some of you know me. Some of you have seen me fight and some of you are my friends. Have your vote. But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you try to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won't shake. My aim won't falter. My face will be the last thing you‟ll see before you die.” I jammed the knife into the table and walked out.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
My friend, you thought you lost Him; that all your life you've been separated from Him. Filled with wonder, you've always looked outside for Him, and haven't searched within your own house.
Rumi
Some people can’t be in your life because they don’t have the power to help you improve it. That doesn’t mean you don’t wish them well, it just means that you are on Chapter ten of your life, when they are on Chapter five. Maybe, it is just enough to meet at the crossroads in life and agree to take separate paths, then with a cheshire grin you both look back and shout, “Beat you to the top of the mountain”, followed by the funnest sprint of both of your lives.
Shannon L. Alder
We ran into lots of old friends. Friends from elementary school, junior high school, high school. Everyone had matured in their own way, and even as we stood face to face with them they seemed like people from dreams, sudden glimpses through the fences of our tangled memories. We smiled and waved, exchanged a few words, and then walked on in our separate directions.
Banana Yoshimoto (Goodbye Tsugumi)
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.
Elisabeth Foley
Just friends? Alright friend we won’t kiss goodnight, and I won’t hold you tight and wish that you were mine just for one night. I will separate my dreams from my eyes, separate my heart from my spine, keep clean the lines between my hands and your innards.
Coco J. Ginger
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits ever be divided, that love and live in the same divine principle, the root and record of their friendship. If absence be not death, neither is theirs. Death is but crossing the world, as friends do the seas; they live in one another still. For they must needs be present, that love and live in that which is omnipresent. In this divine glass they see face to face; and their converse is free, as well as pure. This is the comfort of friends, that though they may be said to die, yet their friendship and society are, in the best sense, ever present, because immortal.
William Penn (Some Fruits of Solitude / More Fruits of Solitude)
Perhaps the deepest reason why we are afraid of death is because we do not know who we are. We believe in a personal, unique, and separate identity — but if we dare to examine it, we find that this identity depends entirely on an endless collection of things to prop it up: our name, our "biography," our partners, family, home, job, friends, credit cards… It is on their fragile and transient support that we rely for our security. So when they are all taken away, will we have any idea of who we really are? Without our familiar props, we are faced with just ourselves, a person we do not know, an unnerving stranger with whom we have been living all the time but we never really wanted to meet. Isn't that why we have tried to fill every moment of time with noise and activity, however boring or trivial, to ensure that we are never left in silence with this stranger on our own?
Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying)
It's shitty I guess. They're my friends. But... everything I want to talk about I can't say to them. It feels so separate, like I've touched something that's taken the color out of me.
Kendare Blake (Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1))
They are enthusiasts, devotees. Addicts. Something about the circus stirs their souls, and they ache for it when it is absent. They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars… When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors, and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.
Robert E. Lee
If I don't see the reason of someone being my friend, chances are, we are just floating and I need a ship to set sail.
Michael Bassey Johnson (The Book of Maxims, Poems and Anecdotes)
They want us to be afraid. They want us to be afraid of leaving our homes. They want us to barricade our doors and hide our children. Their aim is to make us fear life itself! They want us to hate. They want us to hate 'the other'. They want us to practice aggression and perfect antagonism. Their aim is to divide us all! They want us to be inhuman. They want us to throw out our kindness. They want us to bury our love and burn our hope. Their aim is to take all our light! They think their bricked walls will separate us. They think their damned bombs will defeat us. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that my soul and your soul are old friends. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that when they cut you I bleed. They are so ignorant they don’t understand that we will never be afraid, we will never hate and we will never be silent for life is ours!
Kamand Kojouri
I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine.
John Muir
When we speak of man, we have a conception of humanity as a whole, and before applying scientific methods to the investigation of his movement we must accept this as a physical fact. But can anyone doubt to-day that all the millions of individuals and all the innumerable types and characters constitute an entity, a unit? Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. I cut myself in the finger, and it pains me: this finger is a part of me. I see a friend hurt, and it hurts me, too: my friend and I are one. And now I see stricken down an enemy, a lump of matter which, of all the lumps of matter in the universe, I care least for, and it still grieves me. Does this not prove that each of us is only part of a whole? For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of insuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Metaphysical proofs are, however, not the only ones which we are able to bring forth in support of this idea. Science, too, recognizes this connectedness of separate individuals, though not quite in the same sense as it admits that the suns, planets, and moons of a constellation are one body, and there can be no doubt that it will be experimentally confirmed in times to come, when our means and methods for investigating psychical and other states and phenomena shall have been brought to great perfection. Still more: this one human being lives on and on. The individual is ephemeral, races and nations come and pass away, but man remains. Therein lies the profound difference between the individual and the whole.
Nikola Tesla
I knew that part of friendship consisted in accepting a friend’s shortcomings, which sometimes included his parents.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
We found ourselves veiled and separated from our friends.
Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Persepolis, #1))
It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity, But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.
Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Earnest)
their eyes are full of kindness as each feels the full effect of novelty after a short separation. They are drawing a relaxation from each other's presence, a new serenity.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Beautiful and Damned)
The technocrat is the natural friend of the dictator—computers and dictatorship; but the revolutionary lives in the gap which separates technical progress from social totality, and inscribed there his dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it renders possible what it dreams about.
Gilles Deleuze
Some of our friends are our friends only because we used to be friends.
Mokokoma Mokhonoana (The Selfish Genie: A Satirical Essay on Altruism)
To lose a worthless friend is worthy of a testimony.
Michael Bassey Johnson
I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go​, don't-look-at-my-Amazon-bill. I choose purses based on whether I can cram a paperback into them, and my books are the first items I pack into a suitcase. I am the person who family and friends call when they need a book recommendation or cannot remember who wrote Heidi. My identity as a person is so entwined with my love of reading and books that I cannot separate the two.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
December 27, 11:00 p.m. My Dear America, I’ve never written a love letter, so forgive me if I fail now. . . . The simple thing would be to say that I love you. But, in truth, it’s so much more than that. I want you, America. I need you. I’ve held back so much from you out of fear. I’m afraid that if I show you everything at once, it will overwhelm you, and you’ll run away. I’m afraid that somewhere in the back of your heart is a love for someone else that will never die. I’m afraid that I will make a mistake again, something so huge that you retreat into that silent world of yours. No scolding from a tutor, no lashing from my father, no isolation in my youth has ever hurt me so much as you separating yourself from me. I keep thinking that it’s there, waiting to come back and strike me. So I’ve held on to all my options, fearing that the moment I wipe them away, you will be standing there with your arms closed, happy to be my friend but unable to be my equal, my queen, my wife. And for you to be my wife is all I want in the world. I love you. I was afraid to admit it for a long time, but I know it now. I would never rejoice in the loss of your father, the sadness you’ve felt since he passed, or the emptiness I’ve experienced since you left. But I’m so grateful that you had to go. I’m not sure how long it would have taken for me to figure this out if I hadn’t had to start trying to imagine a life without you. I know now, with absolute certainty, that is nothing I want. I wish I was as true an artist as you so that I could find a way to tell you what you’ve become to me. America, my love, you are sunlight falling through trees. You are laughter that breaks through sadness. You are the breeze on a too-warm day. You are clarity in the midst of confusion. You are not the world, but you are everything that makes the world good. Without you, my life would still exist, but that’s all it would manage to do. You said that to get things right one of us would have to take a leap of faith. I think I’ve discovered the canyon that must be leaped, and I hope to find you waiting for me on the other side. I love you, America. Yours forever, Maxon
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
Sometimes I feel like we are the same, but sometimes, like right now, I feel the separation between our personalities like I've just run into a wall.
Veronica Roth (Allegiant (Divergent, #3))
A friend need not be kept either within sight or within reach. A friend must be allowed the freedom to find and follow his own path. If one is fortunate, those paths will for a time join. But if the paths separate, it is comforting to know that a friend still graces the universe with his skills, and his viewpoint, and his presence. For if one is remembered by a friend, one is never truly gone.
Timothy Zahn (Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn, #1))
When two members of a family or two intimate friends are separated, and one goes abroad and one remains at home, the return of the relative or friend who has been travelling always seems to place the relative or friend who has been staying at home at a painful disadvantage when the two first meet. The sudden encounter of the new thoughts and new habits eagerly gained in the one case, with the old thoughts and old habits passively preserved in the other, seems at first to part the sympathies of the most loving relatives and the fondest friends, and to set a sudden strangeness, unexpected by both and uncontrollable by both, between them on either side.
Wilkie Collins (The Woman in White)
The two angels were both tall, but Aodhan was perhaps an inch taller, and now his eyes locked with Illium's for a long, quiet moment before he lowered his head slightly. Illium raised his hand, the movement slow, hesitant....and then his fingers brushed Aodhan's cheek just below the cut that had almost sealed. The first ray of dawn kissed the tear that rolled down Illium's face, caressed the painful wonder on Aodhan's as he lifted his hand to clasp the wrist of his friend's hand. That instant of contact, the power of it, stole her breath. Then Illium smiled, said something that made Aodhan's lips curve-Elena thought it might've been "Welcome back, Sparkle"-and they were separating to sweep off the Tower in a symphony of wild silver blue and heartbreaking light. "Raphael," she whispered, having felt him come up behind her. "Did you see?" "Yes." His hand on her nape, his thumb brushing over her pulse. "Of course it would be Illium who reached him," he murmured.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Legion (Guild Hunter, #6))
The best part about best friends is that you can maintain a relationship at any distance. In this day and age, we have Skype, FaceTime, text messages, audio messages, photo messages, and every social media site you can think of. With my friends, I send little photo updates almost daily and do a video call every week. It’s really not that difficult. We talk about anything and everything. I can confide my deepest, darkest secrets with my best friends and fear no judgment. It’s actually the best. And when we have the luxury of being in the same location, we pick things up like we were never separated. It really doesn’t matter where we go or what we do; it’s honestly just so nice to be in each other’s presence that the rest doesn’t matter.
Connor Franta (A Work in Progress)
often she had seemed to herself to be moving among those vanished figures of old books and pictures, an invisible ghost among the living, better acquainted with them than with her own friends. she very nearly lost consciousness that she was a separate being, with a future of her own.
Virginia Woolf
We humans may be brilliant and we may be special, but we are still connected to the rest of life. No one reminds us of this better than our dogs. Perhaps the human condition will always include attempts to remind ourselves that we are separate from the rest of the natural world. We are different from other animals; it's undeniably true. But while acknowledging that, we must acknowledge another truth, the truth that we are also the same. That is what dogs and their emotions give us-- a connection. A connection to life on earth, to all that binds and cradles us, lest we begin to feel too alone. Dogs are our bridge-- our connection wo who we really are, and most tellingly, who we want to be. When we call them home to us, it'as as if we are calling for home itself. And that'll do, dogs. That'll do.
Patricia B. McConnell (For the Love of a Dog: Understanding Emotion in You and Your Best Friend)
The biggest thing separating people from their artistic ambitions is not a lack of talent. It's the lack of a deadline. Give someone an enormous task, a supportive community, and a friendly-yet-firm due date, and miracles will happen.
Chris Baty (No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days)
Why do most people take the shortest route to settle their differences and just walk off, break up and go separate ways instead of trying to talk and work things out?
Jonathan Anthony Burkett (Friends 2 Lovers: The Unthinkable (Volume 1))
It felt as if we'd been to war together. Deep in a jungle, alone, I had relied on them, these strangers. They'd held me up in ways only people could. When it was over, an ending never felt like an ending, only an exhausted draw, we went our separate ways. Be we were bonded forever by the history of it, the simple fact they'd seen the raw side of me and me of them, a side no one, not even closest friends or family had ever seen before, or probably ever would.
Marisha Pessl (Night Film)
Without the letters of condolence, telegrams of congratulations, and occasional postcards, the friendship of a separated friend is not a social reality. It has no existence without the rites of friendship. Social rituals create a reality which would be nothing without them. It is not too much to say that ritual is more to society than words are to thought. For it is very possible to know something and then find words for it. But it is impossible to have social relations without symbolic acts.
Mary Douglas (Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo)
I was beginning to see that Phineas could get away with anything. I couldn't help envying him that a little, which was perfectly normal. There was no harm in envying even your best friend a little
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
Like the cat who finds her way back home over a thousand miles, like the dog who waits for his master to arrive on the train that never comes, like the one who keeps a vigil at her master’s grave until she too can cross the bridge, some people and their pets are woven together by threads of life and they cannot, and will not, for long be separated.
Kate McGahan
The dictionary says my identity should be all about being separate or distinct, and yet it feels like it is so wrapped up in others.
Mary E. Pearson (The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles, #1))
Can miles truly separate us from friends? If you want to be with Rae, aren't you already there?
Richard Bach (There's No Such Place As Far Away)
No one in my family, not one of my friends or classmates realized that I was going through life asleep. It was literally true: I was going through life asleep. My body had no more feeling than a drowned corpse. My very existence, my life in the world, seemed like a hallucination. A strong wind would make me think my body was about to be blown to the end of the earth, to some land I had never seen or heard of, where my mind and body would separate forever. 'Hold tight,' I would tell myself, but there was nothing for me to hold on to.
Haruki Murakami (Sleep)
When I read a book, I try my best, not always successfully, to let the wall crumble just a bit, the barricade that separates me from the book. I try to be involved. I am Raskalnikov. I am K. I am Humbert and Lolita. I am you. If you read these pages and think I'm the way I am because I lived through a civil war, you can't feel my pain. If you believe you're not like me because one woman, and only one, Hannah, chose to be my friend, then you're unable to empathize.
Rabih Alameddine (An Unnecessary Woman)
Real friendship or love is not manufactured or achieved by an act of will or intention. Friendship is always an act of recognition. This metaphor of friendship can be grounded in the clay nature of the human body. When you find the person you love, an act of ancient recognition brings you together. It is as if millions of years before the silence of nature broke, your lover’s clay and your clay lay side by side. Then in the turning of the seasons, your one clay divided and separated. You began to rise as distinct clay forms, each housing a different individuality and destiny. Without even knowing it, your secret memory mourned your loss of each other. While your clay selves wandered for thousands of years through the universe, your longing for each other never faded. This metaphor helps to explain how in the moment of friendship two souls suddenly recognize each other. It could be a meeting on the street, or at a party or a lecture, or just a simple, banal introduction, then suddenly there is the flash of recognition and the embers of kinship glow. There is an awakening between you, a sense of ancient knowing. Love opens the door of ancient recognition. You enter. You come home to each other at last. As Euripides said, “Two friends, one soul.
John O'Donohue (Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom)
How To Tell If Somebody Loves You: Somebody loves you if they pick an eyelash off of your face or wet a napkin and apply it to your dirty skin. You didn’t ask for these things, but this person went ahead and did it anyway. They don’t want to see you looking like a fool with eyelashes and crumbs on your face. They notice these things. They really look at you and are the first to notice if something is amiss with your beautiful visage! Somebody loves you if they assume the role of caretaker when you’re sick. Unsure if someone really gives a shit about you? Fake a case of food poisoning and text them being like, “Oh, my God, so sick. Need water.” Depending on their response, you’ll know whether or not they REALLY love you. “That’s terrible. Feel better!” earns you a stay in friendship jail; “Do you need anything? I can come over and bring you get well remedies!” gets you a cozy friendship suite. It’s easy to care about someone when they don’t need you. It’s easy to love them when they’re healthy and don’t ask you for anything beyond change for the parking meter. Being sick is different. Being sick means asking someone to hold your hair back when you vomit. Either love me with vomit in my hair or don’t love me at all. Somebody loves you if they call you out on your bullshit. They’re not passive, they don’t just let you get away with murder. They know you well enough and care about you enough to ask you to chill out, to bust your balls, to tell you to stop. They aren’t passive observers in your life, they are in the trenches. They have an opinion about your decisions and the things you say and do. They want to be a part of it; they want to be a part of you. Somebody loves you if they don’t mind the quiet. They don’t mind running errands with you or cleaning your apartment while blasting some annoying music. There’s no pressure, no need to fill the silences. You know how with some of your friends there needs to be some sort of activity for you to hang out? You don’t feel comfortable just shooting the shit and watching bad reality TV with them. You need something that will keep the both of you busy to ensure there won’t be a void. That’s not love. That’s “Hey, babe! I like you okay. Do you wanna grab lunch? I think we have enough to talk about to fill two hours!" It’s a damn dream when you find someone you can do nothing with. Whether you’re skydiving together or sitting at home and doing different things, it’s always comfortable. That is fucking love. Somebody loves you if they want you to be happy, even if that involves something that doesn’t benefit them. They realize the things you need to do in order to be content and come to terms with the fact that it might not include them. Never underestimate the gift of understanding. When there are so many people who are selfish and equate relationships as something that only must make them happy, having someone around who can take their needs out of any given situation if they need to. Somebody loves you if they can order you food without having to be told what you want. Somebody loves you if they rub your back at any given moment. Somebody loves you if they give you oral sex without expecting anything back. Somebody loves you if they don’t care about your job or how much money you make. It’s a relationship where no one is selling something to the other. No one is the prostitute. Somebody loves you if they’ll watch a movie starring Kate Hudson because you really really want to see it. Somebody loves you if they’re able to create their own separate world with you, away from the internet and your job and family and friends. Just you and them. Somebody will always love you. If you don’t think this is true, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
Ryan O'Connell
I swore I would never be happy again the day you said, “Let’s just be friends.” But the world goes on even when lovers go their separate ways. So I will carry on in the hopes I’ll find another lover someday.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts)
It is said that one should keep one's allies within view, and one's enemies within reach. A valid statement. One must be able to read an ally's strengths, so as to determine how to best use them. One must similarly be able to read his enemy's weaknesses, so as to determine how to best defeat him. But what of friends? There is no accepted answer, perhaps true friendship is so exceedingly rare. But I had formulated my own. A friend need not be kept within sight or within reach. A friend must be allowed the freedom to find and follow his own path. If one is fortunate, those paths will for a time join. But if paths separate, it is comforting to know that a friend still graces the universe with his skills, and his viewpoint, and his present. For if one is remembered by a friend, one is never truly gone.
Timothy Zahn (Thrawn (Star Wars: Thrawn, #1))
So I separated all my books into stacks: best friends, old friends, classic friends, new friends, and casual acquaintances.
Laura Jensen Walker (Daring Chloe (Getaway Girls, #1))
(...) and how precious was life that two such friends, in so big world, should find each other again after so great separation?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
We are all lost, so lost, vulnerable and insecure. We are separated from love at birth, we are separated from God, from each other. All we want, all we yearn for is to connect.
Kamand Kojouri
It was only after my head started reeling and my body started weaving and I tumbled into bed that I'd hear that soothing voice singing...The reverbations of that voice wandered sweetly, softly, working like a massage on the area of my heart that was the most tightly clenched, helping those knots to loosen. It was like the rush of waves, and like the laughter of people I'd met in all kinds of places, people I'd become friendly with and then separated from, and like the kind words all those people had said to me, and like the mewing of a cat I had lost, and like the mixture of noises that rang in the background in a place that was dear to me, a place far away, a place that no longer existed, and like the rushing of trees that whisked past my ears as I breathed in a scent of fresh greenery on a trip someplace... the voice was like a combination of all this.
Banana Yoshimoto (Asleep)
It is always painful to part from people whom one has known for a very brief space of time. The absence of old friends one can endure with equanimity. But even a momentary separation from anyone to whom one has just been introduced is almost unbearable.
Oscar Wilde
He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, Morrel, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life. Live, then, and be happy, beloved children of my heart, and never forget, that until the day when God will deign to reveal the future to man, all human wisdom is contained in these two words, - ‘Wait and hope.’ – Your friend, Edmond Dantes, Count of Monte Cristo. The eyes of both were fixed on the spot indicated by the sailor, and on the blue-line separating the sky from the Mediterranean Sea, they perceived a large white sail.
Alexandre Dumas (The Count of Monte Cristo)
The strangest thing about humans is the way they pair up, males and females. Constantly at war with each other, never content to leave each other alone. They never seem to grasp the idea that males and females are separate species with completely different needs and desires, forced to come together only to reproduce Of course you feel that way. Your mates are nothing but mindless drones, extensions of yourself, without their own identity. We know out lovers with perfect understanding. Humans invent an imaginary lover and put that mask over the face of the body in their bed. That is the tradegy of language, my friend. Those who know each other only through symbolic representations are forced to imagine each other. And because their imagination is imperfect, they are often wrong, This is the source of their misery. And some of their strength, I think. Your people and mine, each for their own evolutionary reasons, mate with vastly unequal partners. Our mates are always, hopelessly, our intellectual inferiors. Humans mate with beings who challenge their supremcy. They have conflicts between mates, not because their communication is inferior to ours, but because they commune with each other at all.
Orson Scott Card (Xenocide (Ender's Saga, #3))
I certainly should have,' he agrees, smiling and thinking what an absurd and universally-accepted bit of nonsense it is, that your best friends must necessarily be the ones who best understand you. As if there weren't far too much understanding in the world already; above all, that understanding between lovers, celebrated in song and story, which is actually such torture that no two of them can bear it without frequent separations or fights.
Christopher Isherwood (A Single Man)
Each of us should have a financial identity. One that is distinct and separate from our spouse's or parents'. If you find yourself always wondering what your friends or parents think about the way you spend or invest, then its an indication that you haven't fully figured out your financial identity.
Keisha Blair (Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons to Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity, and Happiness)
Cows are exceptionally gentle, loving beings who form strong bonds with their family and friends. Separating any mother from her child, as is routine practise within the dairy industry, inflicts upon both a cruelty beyond words.
Mango Wodzak (The Eden Fruitarian Guidebook)
People grow apart. Distance doesn’t always mean miles. Sometimes it means two friends going separate ways. The person you poured your heart out to, traveled through new cities with, called at three in the morning just to get ice cream, suddenly becomes someone who can’t even text you back. So, you start to wonder what happened and where it all went wrong. How can this person who was once your lifeline now be a stranger who holds all your memories? But people change and become caught up in their own lives. They may not even realize they are doing it. Sometimes friends disappear and we don’t know why. But you don’t deserve to be ignored. The things you have to say are important; you should never allow someone to make you feel as though they aren’t. You should never tolerate someone who can’t acknowledge the news you have to share. You don’t need this in your life. Let go of people who don’t make you happy.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts II: Healing the Heart)
Nothing is ever really lost. The memories of good friends and good times are always there, never more than a thought away. In a sense, they never really stopped happening. Every moment you ever treasured, every friend you ever valued is still there, separated from us only by time; the past is still happening and always will be. It's only we who have moved on.
Simon R. Green (Deathstalker War (Deathstalker, #3))
Here's one night when I control the chaos. I participate with the doom I can't control. I'm dancing with the inevitable, and I survive....My regular little dress rehearsal...the day I finally meet Death, the two of us will be old, long-lost friends. Me and Death, separated at birth.
Chuck Palahniuk (Rant)
Life is an island in an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Life is an island, rocks are its desires, trees its dreams, and flowers its loneliness, and it is in the middle of an ocean of solitude and seclusion. Your life, my friend, is an island separated from all other islands and continents. Regardless of how many boats you send to other shores, you yourself are an island separated by its own pains,secluded its happiness and far away in its compassion and hidden in its secrets and mysteries. I saw you, my friend, sitting upon a mound of gold, happy in your wealth and great in your riches and believing that a handful of gold is the secret chain that links the thoughts of the people with your own thoughts and links their feeling with your own. I saw you as a great conqueror leading a conquering army toward the fortress, then destroying and capturing it. On second glance I found beyond the wall of your treasures a heart trembling in its solitude and seclusion like the trembling of a thirsty man within a cage of gold and jewels, but without water. I saw you, my friend, sitting on a throne of glory surrounded by people extolling your charity, enumerating your gifts, gazing upon you as if they were in the presence of a prophet lifting their souls up into the planets and stars. I saw you looking at them, contentment and strength upon your face, as if you were to them as the soul is to the body. On the second look I saw your secluded self standing beside your throne, suffering in its seclusion and quaking in its loneliness. I saw that self stretching its hands as if begging from unseen ghosts. I saw it looking above the shoulders of the people to a far horizon, empty of everything except its solitude and seclusion. I saw you, my friend, passionately in love with a beautiful woman, filling her palms with your kisses as she looked at you with sympathy and affection in her eyes and sweetness of motherhood on her lips; I said, secretly, that love has erased his solitude and removed his seclusion and he is now within the eternal soul which draws toward itself, with love, those who were separated by solitude and seclusion. On the second look I saw behind your soul another lonely soul, like a fog, trying in vain to become a drop of tears in the palm of that woman. Your life, my friend, is a residence far away from any other residence and neighbors. Your inner soul is a home far away from other homes named after you. If this residence is dark, you cannot light it with your neighbor's lamp; if it is empty you cannot fill it with the riches of your neighbor; were it in the middle of a desert, you could not move it to a garden planted by someone else. Your inner soul, my friend, is surrounded with solitude and seclusion. Were it not for this solitude and this seclusion you would not be you and I would not be I. If it were not for that solitude and seclusion, I would, if I heard your voice, think myself to be speaking; yet, if I saw your face, i would imagine that I were looking into a mirror.
Kahlil Gibran (Mirrors of the Soul)
I was the Fool and the Fool was me. He was the Catalyst and so was I. We were two halves of a whole, sundered and come together again. For an instant I knew him in his entirety, complete and magical, and then he was pulling apart from me, laughing, a bubble inside me, separate and unknowable, yet joined to me. "You do love me !" I was incredulous. He had never truly believed it before. "Before, it was words. I always feared it war born of pity. But you are truly my friend. This is knowing. This is feeling what you feel for me. So this is the Skill". For a moment he reveled in simple recognition.
Robin Hobb (Assassin's Quest (Farseer Trilogy, #3))
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? (Just to give you an idea, Proust's reply was 'To be separated from Mama.') I think that the lowest depth of misery ought to be distinguished from the highest pitch of anguish. In the lower depths come enforced idleness, sexual boredom, and/or impotence. At the highest pitch, the death of a friend or even the fear of the death of a child.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
In Paradise it is true that I shall drink at dawn the pure wine mentioned in the Koran, but where in Paradise are the long walks with intoxicated friends in the night, or the drunken crowds shouting merrily? Where shall I find there the intoxication of Monsoon clouds? Where there is no Autumn how can Spring exist? If the beautiful houris are always there, where will be the sadness of a separation and the joy of union? Where shall we find there a girl who flees away when we would kiss her?
Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib
I fake fake to have a fake life. Does that make me a real horse? Buy now for $777, wooden saddle sold separately. Real horseshoes not included. Imaginary ones – neither.
Will Advise (Nothing is here...)
Who who whose smell in the air of her room, whose fingerprints all over her friends’ secret places.
Tana French (The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #5))
He was like the other half of myself,' says Boris...Ulrich says, 'You haven't lost {him}, you know. I don't know if it helps to say that. I lost a friend once myself, and I know how it goes. 'He'll find his way inside you, and you'll carry him onward. Behind your heartbeat, you'll hear another one, faint and out of step. People will say you are speaking his opinons, or your hair has turned like his. 'There are no more facts about him -- that part is over. Now is the time for essential things...Gradually you'll grow older than him, and love him as your son. 'You'll live astride the line that separates life from death. You'll become experienced in the wisdom of grief. You won't wait until people die to grieve for them; you'll give them their grief while they are still alive, for then judgment falls away, and there remains only the miracle of being.
Rana Dasgupta (Solo)
It's just one more thing she hadn't considered, and as the idea of it settles over her, she realizes again how entwined their lives are. They're like two trees whose branches have grown together. Even if you pull them out by the trunks, they're still going to be twisted and tangled and nearly impossible to separate at the roots.
Jennifer E. Smith
I returned from the village. The house seemed unbearably dull. But I bore it. "There is no escape from loneliness and separation...." I told myself often. "Wife, child, brothers, parents, friends.... We come together only to go apart again. It is one continuous movement. They move away from us as we move away from them. The law of life can't be avoided. The law comes into operation the moment we detach ourselves from our mother's womb. All struggle and misery in life is due to our attempt to arrest this law or get away from it or in allowing ourselves to be hurt by it. The fact must be recognized. A profound unmitigated loneliness is the only truth of life. All else is false. My mother got away from her parents, my sisters from our house, I and my brother away from each other, my wife was torn away from me, my daughter is going away with my mother, my father has gone away from his father, my earliest friends - where are they? They scatter apart like the droplets of a waterspray. The law of life. No sense in battling against it...." Thus I reconciled myself to this separation with less struggle than before.
R.K. Narayan (The English Teacher)
While the poets were above all interested in the fluid and fugitive aspects of Nature, others desired, by slogging away with a hatchet and pickax, to discover the interior structure of Nature and the relationship between the separate morsels. The spirit of our friend Nature dissolved in their hands, leaving nothing but throbbing or dead parts.
Novalis
The Naga laughed softly, 'There's a thin line that separates courage from stupidity.' 'And that line is only visible in retrospect, my friend. If I'm successful, people will call me brave. If I fail, I will be called foolish. Let ,me do what I think is right. I'll leave the verdict to the future.
Amish Tripathi (Scion of Ikshvaku (Ram Chandra #1))
But mortification - literally, "making death" - is what life is all about, a slow discovery of the mortality of all that is created so that we can appreciate its beauty without clinging to it as if it were a lasting possession. Our lives can indeed be seen as a process of becoming familiar with death, as a school in the art of dying . . . all these times have passed by like friendly visitors, leaving you with dear memories but also with the sad recognition of the shortness of life. In every arrival there is a leave-taking; in every reunion there is a separation; in each one's growing up there is a growing old; in every smile there is a tear; and in every success there is a loss. All living is dying and all celebration is mortification too.
Henri J.M. Nouwen (Show Me The Way: Readings for Each Day of Lent)
Naruto… I now remember the words you once said to me. That when you're with me, you finally understand what it's like to have a brother… And when I think of it that way… That feeling… I finally get it now. I've been travelling around the world and I seem to recall these memories a lot. We were alone and starved of love. Kids that lived in a world full of hate. And from that point on, we went our separate ways… and fought. But time has passed and now I'm thinking… Could it be that… just like how the hope and and pain from my father, mother and my brother, Itachi flowed into me… I'd understand your pain and hopes too, Naruto? You never abandoned me, no matter what. And you never gave up on me, coming closer when I pulled away. It wouldn't have surprised me if you hated me, but you didn't… You kept insisting that we were friends. And even that, I nearly destroyed. You fought to stop me… to the point you lost an arm. All because you were my friend. You saved me. The us that quarrelled over the smallest things… are now able to share the pain in each other's hearts. On my journey around the world, I noticed… That all these feelings of mine aren't just about us, I'm sure it's the same for everything else. But… there aren't a lot of people like you. And things won't go as planned, look at us. It's especially true when it comes to bigger things. I think it's the same as praying. And until I can do it, I'll stay strong. The beings that have been entrusted with hope… that's us. That's what makes us shinobi.
Masashi Kishimoto
We both have our independence and freedom, but we have those things with each other. It’s a paradox, but it works. It all reminded me of what my friend Henry Cloud told me, that when two people are entirely and completely separate they are finally compatible to be one. Nobody’s self-worth lives inside of another person. Intimacy means we are independently together.
Donald Miller (Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy)
The hill, the river and the moon looked as they always had done, but he knew that some of his friends of earlier days must now lie in this graveyard where he was sitting. He felt that the river of his life had almost run its course to the sea and only a semi-transparent membrane separated him from his dear friends.
Doppo Kunikida (River Mist and Other Stories)
God wants us to worry about our sins before we sin; the devil wants us to worry after we sin. God wants us to feel free after we repent (for we really are free then); the devil is a deceiver). The devil tempts us to cavalier pride before we sin and worrisome despair afterward, since pride and despair both separate us from God, and anything that separates us from God is the devil's friend and our enemy, while anything that brings us close to God is the devil's enemy and our friend.
Peter Kreeft (Prayer For Beginners)
Life can be reset, it seems to say; time can be separated. But that logic appears to me as unlikely as traveling to another place to become a different person. Altered sceneries are at best distractions, or else new settings for old habits. What one carries from one point to another, geographically or temporally, is one’s self. Even the most inconsistent person is consistently himself.
Yiyun Li (Dear Friend, From My Life I Write to You in Your Life)
—Alone, quite alone. You have no fear of that. And you know what that word means? Not only to be separate from all others but to have not even one friend. —I will take the risk, said Stephen. —And not to have any one person, Cranly said, who would be more than a friend, more even than the noblest and truest friend a man ever had.
James Joyce (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man)
Some of you know me. Some of you have seen me fight and some of you are my friends. Have your vote. But know this: if you come to remove me, come in force, because if you try to separate me from him, I will kill every single one of you. My hand won’t shake. My aim won’t falter. My face will be the last thing you’ll see before you die.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Bleeds (Kate Daniels, #4))
It had never occurred to her that she might adore the adult Clay even more than she had the youth, but there it was. The man her friend had grown into—well, he enchanted her, brooding temper, dark kisses, animal protectiveness, and all. To her delight, the feeling seemed to be mutual. But the separation had scarred them both. What would it do to Clay if this disease succeeded in killing her?
Nalini Singh (Mine to Possess (Psy-Changeling #4))
I thought the issue was settled until at the end he said, 'Listen, pal, if I can't play sports, you're going to play them for me,' and I lost part of myself to him, and a soaring sense of freedom revealed that this must have been my purpose from the first: to become a part of Phineas.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
that was bad; i shouldn't have done that to prevent you from entering a catatonic state i am going to maintain a calm facial expression with crinkly eyes and an overall friendly demeanor i believe in a human being that is not upset i believe if you are working i should not be insane or upset--why am i ever insane or upset and not working? i vacuumed the entire house this morning i cleaned the kitchen and the computer room and i made you a meat helmet with computer paper the opportunity for change exists in each moment, all moments are alone and separate from other moments, and there are a limited number of moments and the idea of change is a delusion of positive or negative thinking your hands are covering your face and your body moves like a statue when i try to manipulate an appendage if i could just get you to cry tears of joy one more time
Tao Lin (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy)
But sharing does not mean wanting others to abandon their own spiritual roots and embrace your faith. That would be cruel. People are stable and happy only when they are firmly rooted in their own tradition and culture. To uproot them would make them suffer. There are already enough people uprooted from their tradition today, and they suffer greatly, wandering around like hungry ghosts, looking for something to fill their spiritual needs. We must help them return to their tradition. Each tradition must establish dialogue with its own people first, especially with those young people who are lost and alienated. During the last fifteen years while sharing the Buddha’s Dharma in the West, I always urged my Western friends to go back to their own traditions and rediscover the values that are there, those values they have not been able to touch before. The practice of Buddhist meditation can help them do so, and many have succeeded. Buddhism is made of non-Buddhist elements. Buddhism has no separate self. When you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ)
A parable: The Monk and the Minister Two close boyhood friends grow up and go their separate ways. One becomes a humble monk, the other a rich and powerful minister to the king. Years later they meet. As they catch up, the portly minister (in his fine robes) takes pity on the thin and shabby monk. Seeking to help, he says: “You know, if you could learn to cater to the king, you wouldn’t have to live on rice and beans.” To which the monk replies: “If you could learn to live on rice and beans, you wouldn’t have to cater to the king.” Most all of us fall somewhere between the two. As for me, it is better to be closer to the monk.
J.L. Collins (The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life)
Feminist psychologists have suggested that a toxic friendship is often one in which a women's own personal growth and individuation is sacrificed at the expense of the demands of the other person. Sometimes choosing oneself rather than the friendship is important for future personal growth and individuation. But women have a difficult time separating from each other because emotional connection is so highly valued and broken friendships are seen as failures.
Irene S. Levine (Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend)
There will come a time--perhaps even by the time you read this--that people will no longer be on Facebook. There will come a time when the stars of your favorite teen TV show will be sixty. There will come a time when you will have the same unalienable rights as your straightest friend. (Probably before any of the stars of your favorite teen TV show turn sixty.) There will come a time when the gay prom won't have to be separate. There will come a time when you look at someone younger than your and feel that he or she will know more than you ever did. There will come a time when you will worry about being forgotten. There will come a time when the gospel will be rewritten. If you play your cards right, the next generation will have so much more than you did.
David Levithan (Two Boys Kissing)
How dare I presume to say: He is my friend, or even, more cautiously, I think I know him? At the very most we are like two strangers meeting in the white wintry veld and sitting down together for a while to smoke a pipe before proceeding on their separate ways. No more. Alone. Alone to the very end. I… every one of us. But to have been granted the grace of meeting and touching so fleetingly: is that not the most awesome and wonderful thing one can hope for in this world?
André Brink (A Dry White Season)
The life that I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another, until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place and time my touch will be felt. Our lives are linked together. No man is an island. But there is another truth, the sister of this one, and it is that every man is an island. It is a truth that often the tolling of a silence reveals even more vividly than the tolling of a bell. We sit in silence with one another, each of us more or less reluctant to speak, for fear that if he does, he may sound life a fool. And beneath that there is of course the deeper fear, which is really a fear of the self rather than of the other, that maybe truth of it is that indeed he is a fool. The fear that the self that he reveals by speaking may be a self that the others will reject just as in a way he has himself rejected it. So either we do not speak, or we speak not to reveal who we are but to conceal who we are, because words can be used either way of course. Instead of showing ourselves as we truly are, we show ourselves as we believe others want us to be. We wear masks, and with practice we do it better and better, and they serve us well –except that it gets very lonely inside the mask, because inside the mask that each of us wears there is a person who both longs to be known and fears to be known. In this sense every man is an island separated from every other man by fathoms of distrust and duplicity. Part of what it means to be is to be you and not me, between us the sea that we can never entirely cross even when we would. “My brethren are wholly estranged from me,” Job cries out. “I have become an alien in their eyes.” The paradox is that part of what binds us closest together as human beings and makes it true that no man is an island is the knowledge that in another way every man is an island. Because to know this is to know that not only deep in you is there a self that longs about all to be known and accepted, but that there is also such a self in me, in everyone else the world over. So when we meet as strangers, when even friends look like strangers, it is good to remember that we need each other greatly you and I, more than much of the time we dare to imagine, more than more of the time we dare to admit. Island calls to island across the silence, and once, in trust, the real words come, a bridge is built and love is done –not sentimental, emotional love, but love that is pontifex, bridge-builder. Love that speak the holy and healing word which is: God be with you, stranger who are no stranger. I wish you well. The islands become an archipelago, a continent, become a kingdom whose name is the Kingdom of God.
Frederick Buechner (The Hungering Dark)
All suffering is caused by one belief....the belief in separation
Vivian Amis (The Lotus - Realization of Oneness)
You haven't lost Iraki, you know. I don't know if it helps to say that. I lost a friend once myself, and I know how it goes. 'He'll find his way inside you, and you'll carry him onward. Behind your heartbeat, you'll hear another one, faint and out of step. People will say you are speaking his opinions, or your hair has turned like his. 'There are no more facts about him, that part is over. Now is the time for essential things. You'll see visions of him wherever you go. You'll see his eyes so moist, his intentions so blinding, you'll think he is more alive than you. You will look around and wonder if it was you who died. 'Gradually you'll grow older than him, and love him as your son. 'In the future, you'll live astride the line separating life from death. You'll become experienced in the wisdom of grief. You won't wait until people die to grieve for them. You'll give them their grief while they are still alive, for then judgement falls away, and there remains only the miracle of being.'
Rana Dasgupta (Solo)
By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—lo and behold we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional break-through only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchange of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world, and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it." So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker
When I was younger, I craved friendship and closeness. I make bonds without acknowledging how quickly and permanently they would break. I took people lives' personally. I felt their friends could be my friends, their parents could be their parents. But after awhile, I had to stop. It was too heartbreaking to live with too many separations.
David Levithan
He lay far across the room from her, on a winter island separated by an empty sea. She talked to him for what seemed a long while and she talked about this and she talked about that and it was only words, like the words he had heard once in a nursery at a friend’s house, a two-year-old child building word patters, like jargon, making pretty sounds in the air.
Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451)
Get married, my friend, you don't know what it means to live alone, at my age. Nowadays feeling alone fills me with appalling anguish; being alone at home, by the fire, in the evening. It seems to me then that I'm alone on the earth, dreadfully alone, but surrounded by indeterminate dangers, by unknown, terrible things; and the wall, which divides me from my neighbour, whom I do not know, separates me from him by as great a distance as that which separates me from the stars I see through my window. A kind of fever comes over me, a fever of pain and fear, and the silence of the walls terrifies me. It is so profound, so sad, the silence of the room in which you live alone. It isn't just a silence of the body, but a silence of the soul, and, when a piece of furniture creaks, a shiver runs through your whole body, for in that dismal place you expect to hear no sound.
Guy de Maupassant (Bel-Ami)
For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was H. not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Perhaps more.
C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Do not weep, dear friend. Have I not told you that Separation is inevitable from all near and dear to us? Whatever is born, produced, conditioned, contains within itself the nature of its own Dissolution. It cannot be otherwise.
Dennis William Hauck (The Emerald Tablet: Alchemy of Personal Transformation (Compass))
We Are Lovable Even if the most important person in your world rejects you, you are still real, and you are still okay. —Codependent No More Do you ever find yourself thinking: How could anyone possibly love me? For many of us, this is a deeply ingrained belief that can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Thinking we are unlovable can sabotage our relationships with co-workers, friends, family members, and other loved ones. This belief can cause us to choose, or stay in, relationships that are less than we deserve because we don’t believe we deserve better. We may become desperate and cling as if a particular person was our last chance at love. We may become defensive and push people away. We may withdraw or constantly overreact. While growing up, many of us did not receive the unconditional love we deserved. Many of us were abandoned or neglected by important people in our life. We may have concluded that the reason we weren’t loved was because we were unlovable. Blaming ourselves is an understandable reaction, but an inappropriate one. If others couldn’t love us, or love us in ways that worked, that’s not our fault. In recovery, we’re learning to separate ourselves from the behavior of others. And we’re learning to take responsibility for our healing, regardless of the people around us. Just as we may have believed that we’re unlovable, we can become skilled at practicing the belief that we are lovable. This new belief will improve the quality of our relationships. It will improve our most important relationship: our relationship with our self. We will be able to let others love us and become open to the love and friendship we deserve. Today, help me be aware of and release any self-defeating beliefs I have about being unlovable. Help me begin, today, to tell myself that I am lovable. Help me practice this belief until it gets into my core and manifests itself in my relationships.
Melody Beattie
Anarchy has the flexibility to overcome many of the traditional problems of activism by focusing on revolution not as another cause but as a philosophy of living. This philosophy is as concrete as a brick being thrown through a window or flowers growing in the garden. By making our daily lives revolutionary, we destroy the artificial separation between activism and everyday life. Why settle for comrades and fellow activists when we can have friends and lovers?
Curious George Brigade (Anarchy in the Age of Dinosaurs)
At the end of that class Demian said to me thoughtfully: "There’s something I don’t like about this story, Sinclair. Why don’t you read it once more and give it the acid test? There’s something about it that doesn’t taste right. I mean the business with the two thieves. The three crosses standing next to each other on the hill are almost impressive, to be sure. But now comes this sentimental little treatise about the good thief. At first he was a thorough scoundrel, had committed all those awful things and God knows what else, and now he dissolves in tears and celebrates such a tearful feast of self-improvement and remorse! What’s the sense of repenting if you’re two steps from the grave? I ask you. Once again, it’s nothing but a priest’s fairy tale, saccharine and dishonest, touched up with sentimentality and given a high edifying background. If you had to pick a friend from between the two thieves or decide which one you’d rather trust, you most certainly wouldn’t choose the sniveling convert. No, the other fellow, he’s a man of character. He doesn’t give a hoot for ‘conversion’, which to a man in his position can’t be anything but a pretty speech. He follows his destiny to it’s appointed end and does not turn coward and forswear the devil, who has aided and abetted him until then. He has character, and people with character tend to receive the short end of the stick in biblical stories. Perhaps he’s even a descendant of Cain. Don’t you agree?" I was dismayed. Until now I had felt completely at home in the story of the Crucifixion. Now I saw for the first time with how little individuality, with how little power of imagination I had listened to it and read it. Still, Demian’s new concept seemed vaguely sinister and threatened to topple beliefs on whose continued existence I felt I simply had to insist. No, one could not make light of everything, especially not of the most Sacred matters. As usual he noticed my resistance even before I had said anything. "I know," he said in a resigned tone of voice, "it’s the same old story: don’t take these stories seriously! But I have to tell you something: this is one of the very places that reveals the poverty of this religion most distinctly. The point is that this God of both Old and New Testaments is certainly an extraordinary figure but not what he purports to represent. He is all that is good, noble, fatherly, beautiful, elevated, sentimental—true! But the world consists of something else besides. And what is left over is ascribed to the devil, this entire slice of world, this entire half is hushed up. In exactly the same way they praise God as the father of all life but simply refuse to say a word about our sexual life on which it’s all based, describing it whenever possible as sinful, the work of the devil. I have no objection to worshiping this God Jehovah, far from it. But I mean we ought to consider everything sacred, the entire world, not merely this artificially separated half! Thus alongside the divine service we should also have a service for the devil. I feel that would be right. Otherwise you must create for yourself a God that contains the devil too and in front of which you needn’t close your eyes when the most natural things in the world take place.
Hermann Hesse (Demian: Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
We're the Septembers now. The real ones. We are everything to one another. We don't need to say so; it's just true. Sometimes it seems like we're so close we form one single complete person rather than four separate ones. We settle into types- Bridget the athlete, Lena the beauty, Tibby the rebel, and me, Carmen, the...what? The one with the bad temper. But the one who cares the most. The one who cares that we stick together.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
I ’ve often felt separate from other human beings. I have my moments of togetherness with others; I love all sentient beings with my heart and am wildly fortunate to have friends I can talk to, share joy and despair with; we loyally have each other’s back. I wordlessly communicate with other musicians, sometimes plumbing great depths. But I’m awkward with other people, sometimes even my closest friends. My mind wanders, seeing others hold hands in a circle, from my separate place. My earliest memories are rooted in an underlying sense that something’s wrong with me, that everyone else is clued into a group consciousness from which I’m excluded. Like something in me is broken. As time passes I become more comfortable with this strange sense of being apart, but it never leaves, and on occasion, I go through phases of intense and debilitating anxiety. Gnarly fucking panic attacks. Perhaps it is a form of self-loathing, that I’m often unable to find comfort in community. Am I the only one who’s fucked up like this? Can I get a witness?
Flea (Acid for the Children: A Memoir)
People ask why my brother killed himself. "Why would such a gifted journalist, whose works have won all the prizes in the world, do such a thing?" "He had so many friends, why would he want to leave them?" "But what about all he had to live for?" In a short space of time, I had a drawerful of articles wirtten by reporters pondering the death of one who, like them, made a living out of trying to sort out the truth, separating fact from conjecture. They were hell-bent on making sense out of this event. When they phoned, I told them they were going to fail. I told them that the problem with suicide is that it is a senseless event. There is no why. But of course that's wrong. There are numerous whys, though it's almost impossible, or unlikely that any single one of them is "the answer" that people want to hear.
Christopher Lukas
What is the spirit of Christmas, you ask?  Let me give you the answer in a true story... On a cold day in December, feeling especially warm in my heart for no other reason than it was the holiday season, I walked through the store sporting a big grin on my face.  Though most people were far too busy going about their business to notice me, one elderly gentleman in a wheelchair brought his eyes up to meet mine as we neared each other traveling opposite directions.  He slowed in passing just long enough to speak to me. "Now that's a Christmas smile if I ever saw one," he said. My lips stretched to their limit in response, and I thanked him for the compliment.  Then we went our separate ways. But, as I thought about the man and how sweetly he'd touched me, I realized something simply wonderful!  In that brief, passing interaction we'd exchanged heartfelt gifts! And that, my friend, is the spirit of Christ~mas. 
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
Being alone comes from separating our Self from others. It’s not about taking alone time in order to recharge. It’s the difference between “I’m alone” vs “I need some time alone”. Introverts can take alone time in a crowded bookstore full of strangers. Being alone comes from a state of emotional separation. It’s that wall we place between us and the external. We can do this while having the physical presence of another person or having people in our lives. People who have many friends can still feel alone. People who feel the most alone consistently hold attitudes and take actions that separate themselves, exclude themselves and hold themselves incomparable to others.
Corin
The Sunflowers Come with me into the field of sunflowers. Their faces are burnished disks, their dry spines creak like ship masts, their green leaves, so heavy and many, fill all day with the sticky sugars of the sun. Come with me to visit the sunflowers, they are shy but want to be friends; they have wonderful stories of when they were young-- the important weather, the wandering crows. Don't be afraid to ask them questions! Their bright faces, which follows the sun, will listen, and all those rows of seeds-- each one a new life!-- hope for a deeper acquaintance; each of them, though it stands in a crowd of many, like a separate universe, is lonely, the long work of turning their lives into a celebration is not easy. Come and let us talk with those modest faces, the simple garments of leaves, the coarse roots in the earth so uprightly burning.
Mary Oliver
We have time for everything: to sleep, to run from one place to another, to regret having mistaken and to mistake again, to judge the others and to forgive ourselves we have time for reading and writing, for making corrections to our texts, to regret ever having written we have time to make plans and time not to respect them, we have time for ambitions and sicknesses, time to blame the destiny and the details, we have time to watch the clouds, advertisements or some ordinary accident, we have time to chase our wonders away and to postpone the answers, we have time to break a dream to pieces and then to reinvent it, we have time to make friends, to lose friends, we have time to receive lessons and forget them afterwards, we have time to receive gifts and not to understand them. We have time for them all. There is no time for just a bit of tenderness. When we are aware about to do this we die. I’ve learned that you cannot make someone love you; All you can do is to be a loved person. the rest … depends on the others. I’ve learned that as much as I care others might not care. I’ve learned that it takes years to earn trust and just a few seconds to lose it. I’ve learned that it does not matter WHAT you have in your life but WHO you have. I’ve learned that your charm is useful for about 15 minutes Afterwards, you should better know something. I’ve learned that no matter how you cut it, everything has two sides! I’ve learned that you should separate from your loved ones with warm words It might be the last time you see them! I’ve learned that you can still continue for a long time after saying you cannot continue anymore I’ve learned that heroes are those who do what they have to do, when they have to do it, regardless the consequences I’ve learned that there are people who love But do not know how to show it ! I’ve learned that when I am upset I have the RIGHT to be upset But not the right to be bad! I’ve learned that real friendship continues to exist despite the distance And this is true also for REAL LOVE !!! I’ve learned that if someone does not love you like you want them to It does not mean that they do not love you with all their heart. I’ve learned that no matter how good of a friend someone is for you that person will hurt you every now and then and that you have to forgive him. I’ve learned that it is not enough to be forgiven by others Sometimes you have to learn to forgive yourself. I’ve learned that no matter how much you suffer, The world will not stop for your pain. I’ve learned that the past and the circumstances might have an influence on your personality But that YOU are responsible for what you become !!! I’ve learned that if two people have an argument it does not mean that they do not love each other I’ve learned that sometimes you have to put on the first place the person, not the facts I’ve learned that two people can look at the same thing and can see something totally different I’ve learned that regardless the consequences those WHO ARE HONEST with themselves go further in life. I’ve learned that life can be changed in a few hours by people who do not even know you. I’ve learned that even when you think there is nothing more you can give when a friend calls you, you will find the strength to help him. I’ve learned that writing just like talking can ease the pains of the soul ! I’ve learned that those whom you love the most are taken away from you too soon … I’ve learned that it is too difficult to realise where to draw the line between being friendly, not hurting people and supporting your oppinions. I’ve learned to love to be loved.
Octavian Paler
What fascinates me—and what serves as a central theme of this book—is why we make the choices we do. What separates us from the world we have and the kind of ethical universe envisioned by someone like Havel? What prompts one person to act boldly in a moment of crisis and a second to seek shelter in the crowd? Why do some people become stronger in the face of adversity while others quickly lose heart? What separates the bully from the protector? Is it education, spiritual belief, our parents, our friends, the circumstances of our birth, traumatic events, or more likely some combination that spells the difference? More succinctly, do our hopes for the future hinge on a desirable unfolding of external events or some mysterious process within?
Madeleine K. Albright (Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948)
To make you my puppet I engage on a two-pronged approach. Firstly, I make you utterly dependent on me. I open the doors and let you look upon heaven. That way you are in awe of what I can give you and you want it, oh you really, really want it. Secondly, I will then remove every method of support both real and potential that you might rely on to try and recover your free will (family, friends, colleagues and so on - I will be posting about how I do this through my slur campaign in a separate post) so that you have nobody to turn to. Thus, as you look on heaven entranced and enraptured, I am opening the trapdoor to hell right under your feet.
H.G. Tudor (Confessions of a Narcissist)
They turn the water off, so I live without water, they build walls higher, so I live without treetops, they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine, they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere, they take each last tear I have, I live without tears, ...they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart, they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future, they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends, they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell, they give me pain, so I live with pain, they give me hate, so I live with my hate, they have changed me, and I am not the same man, they give me no shower, so I live with my smell, they separate me from my brothers, so I live without brothers, who understands me when I say this is beautiful? who understands me when I say I have found other freedoms? I cannot fly or make something appear in my hand, I cannot make the heavens open or the earth tremble, I can live with myself, and I am amazed at myself, my love, my beauty, I am taken by my failures, astounded by my fears, I am stubborn and childish, in the midst of this wreckage of life they incurred, I practice being myself, and I have found parts of myself never dreamed of by me, they were goaded out from under rocks in my heart when the walls were built higher, when the water was turned off and the windows painted black. I followed these signs like an old tracker and followed the tracks deep into myself followed the blood-spotted path, deeper into dangerous regions, and found so many parts of myself, who taught me water is not everything, and gave me new eyes to see through walls, and when they spoke, sunlight came out of their mouths, and I was laughing at me with them, we laughed like children and made pacts to always be loyal, who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
Jimmy Santiago Baca
It is lonely behind these boundaries. Some people-particularly those whom psychiatrists call schizoid-because of unpleasant, traumatizing experiences in childhood, perceive the world outside of themselves as unredeemably dangerous, hostile, confusing and unnurturing. Such people feel their boundaries to be protecting and comforting and find a sense of safety in their loneliness. But most of us feel our loneliness to be painful and yearn to escape from behind the walls of our individual identities to a condition in which we can be more unified with the world outside of ourselves. The experience of falling in love allows us this escapetemporarily. The essence of the phenomenon of falling in love is a sudden collapse of a section of an individual's ego boundaries, permitting one to merge his or her identity with that of another person. The sudden release of oneself from oneself, the explosive pouring out of oneself into the beloved, and the dramatic surcease of loneliness accompanying this collapse of ego boundaries is experienced by most of us as ecstatic. We and our beloved are one! Loneliness is no more! In some respects (but certainly not in all) the act of falling in love is an act of regression. The experience of merging with the loved one has in it echoes from the time when we were merged with our mothers in infancy. Along with the merging we also reexperience the sense of omnipotence which we had to give up in our journey out of childhood. All things seem possible! United with our beloved we feel we can conquer all obstacles. We believe that the strength of our love will cause the forces of opposition to bow down in submission and melt away into the darkness. All problems will be overcome. The future will be all light. The unreality of these feelings when we have fallen in love is essentially the same as the unreality of the two-year-old who feels itself to be king of the family and the world with power unlimited. Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old's fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn't. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn't. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn't like his friends; he doesn't like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other's. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
They seek each other out, these people of such specific like mind. They tell of how they found the circus, how those first few steps were like magic. Like stepping into a fairy tale under a curtain of stars. They pontificate upon the fluffiness of the popcorn, the sweetness of the chocolate. They spend hours discussing the quality of the light, the heat of the bonfire. They sit over their drinks smiling like children and they relish being surrounded by kindred spirits, if only for an evening. When they depart, they shake hands and embrace like old friends, even if they have only just met, and as they go their separate ways they feel less alone than they had before.
Erin Morgenstern (The Night Circus)
And families now, families who have been separated throughout the year, assemble once more together. Now under these conditions, my friend, you must admit that there will occur a great amount of strain. People who do not feel amiable are putting great pressure on themselves to appear amiable! There is at Christmas time a great deal of hypocrisy, honourable hypocrisy, hypocrisy undertaken pour le bon motif, c'est entendu, but nevertheless hypocrisy.
Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot's Christmas (Hercule Poirot, #20))
Let me, however, although no verbal critic, protest against the profanation of the word friend. In this my history I must be honest, make a distinction between the oriental diamond and its worthless imitation of paste, and separate the grain from the chaff — gossamer words, that weigh nothing, from substantial realities heavier than gold.
Edward John Trelawny (Adventures of a Younger Son (1897))
True friends are like our favorite books on a shelf in our home that we look at everyday and continue to read over and over till we learn all we can about them. We never get rid of them, we just keep them to share and cherish our whole life. Some we share with many people but there are those that become our exclusive favorites that we keep in a small group, separated from all the others to learn from and enjoy forever ! Original quote form Doug Prentice
Doug Prentice
Unlike an envied and admirable few, I separate my friends and almost never dare mingle one group with another. When I do, it is usually a social disaster, like mixing drinks. I love good beer and I love good wine, but you cannot drink both on the same evening without suffering. I love the friends with whom I play or once daily played snooker and tooted quantities of high-grade pulverized Andean flake; I love the friends with whom I dine at preposterously expensive restaurants; I love the friends with whom I’m film-making or mincing on the stage. I love and value them all equally and don’t think of them as stratified or in tiers, one group in some way higher or more important than the rest, but the thought of introducing them to each other makes me shiver and shudder with cringing embarrassment.
Stephen Fry
He and the second wife must have made a very close, self-contained unit--two people moving through life as if in a thinly membraned bubble, venturing out separately for practical purposes but neither of them whole unless they were together. People who didn't need many friends or outside activities, who found complete fulfillment in each other.
Bill Pronzini (Spook (Nameless Detective, #28))
Those things happened to you, not to someone else. They happened to the best friend that I loved all those years ago, and they happened to the best friend I love who’s looking back at me right now. You need to be proud of the fact that you survived everything you went through as a child. Don’t separate yourself from that life. Embrace it, because I’m so fucking proud of you. Every smile I see on your face just blows me away, because I know the courage and strength it took when you were just a little girl to ensure that part of you remained. And your laugh? My God, Sky. Think about how much courage it took you to laugh again after everything that happened to you. And your heart… How your heart can possibly find a way to love and trust a man again proves that I’ve fallen in love with the bravest woman I’ve ever known. I know how much courage it took for you to allow me in after what your father did to you. And I swear I will spend every last breath thanking you for allowing yourself to love me. Thank you so much for loving me, Linden Sky Hope.
Colleen Hoover (Hopeless (Hopeless, #1))
Separation by death must finally be choked down, but separation in life is a long anguish, Chiang-nan is a pestilential land; no word from you there in exile. You have been in my dreams, old friend, as if knowing how much I miss you. Caught in a net, how is it you still have wings? I fear you are no longer mortal; the distance to here is enormous. When your spirit came, the maples were green; when it went, the passes were black. The setting moon spills light on the rafters; for a moment I think it's your face. The waters are deep, the waves wide; don't let the river gods take you.
Du Fu
Do you know, where does this phrase "separation of Church and State" come from? It was not in Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists...The exact phrase "separation of Church and State" came out of Adolf Hilter's mouth, that's where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State - ask them why they're Nazis.
Glen Urquhart
The truth about any artist, however terrible, is better than the silence.... I know many writers fight fanatically to keep their published self separate from their private reality.... But I've always thought of that as something out of our social, time-serving side; not our true artistic ones. I don't see how the "lies" we write and the "lies" we live can or should be divided. They are seamless, one canvas, for me. While we live we can keep them apart, but not command the future to do the same. The outrage some Thomas Hardy fans have shown over all the revelations about the private man seems to me hypocritical in the extreme. They hugely enrich our understanding of him.... I have had to convince a number of friends and relatives that the kindest act to the [writer] is remembering them - and that all art comes from a human being, not out of mysterious thin air. (Letter to Jo Jones, September 15, 1980, arguing for the preservation of John Collier's personal papers)
John Fowles
Usually by this time in the summer, we were as worn in to one another as pebbles in a riverbed. For three months we’d had complete togetherness and not much outside stimuli. What few stories we had, we’d considered, analyzed, celebrated, cursed, and joked into sand. Tonight was different. I felt like we were each separate and full to our edges with our own stories, mostly unshared. In a way it scared me, having a summer of experiences and feelings that belonged to me alone. What happened in front of my friends felt real. What happened to me by myself felt partly dreamed, partly imagined, definitely shifted and warped by my own fears and wants. But who knows? Maybe there is more truth in how you feel than in what actually happens.
Ann Brashares (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Sisterhood, #1))
In Buddhism, the word “emptiness” is a translation of the Sanskrit sunyata. It means “empty of a separate self.” It is not a negative or despairing term. It is a celebration of interconnectedness, of interbeing. It means nothing can exist by itself alone, that everything is inextricably interconnected with everything else. I know that I must always work to remember that I am empty of a separate self and full of the many wonders of this universe, including the generosity of my grandparents and parents, the many friends and teachers who have helped and supported me along the path, and you dear readers, without whom this book could not exist. We inter-are, and therefore we are empty of an identity that is separate from our interconnectedness.
Chan Khong (Learning True Love: Practicing Buddhism in a Time of War)
I was part of your train but my railroad car was disconnected and switched at the track, and now my friends and I are on a separate journey learning how not to rock the lifeboat, sending out a patient S.O.S to you for help. I reach out with love, possibly one of a dying breed, the old survival of the fittest theory, or perhaps I am throwing you a lifeline from my Rectangular Bubble.
Ann Lloyd (Vodka on My Wheaties)
Long time friends have a way of touching and impacting our lives in ways never imagined. As we all try to find our own place in this ever changing world, it’s comforting to know, that even though separated by time, distance or circumstance, what remains constant is an unspoiled bond of love and loyalty that can be depended upon for a lifetime. One of God’s most special gifts…is friendship.
Jason Versey (A Walk with Prudence)
To most of society being crazy is like a virus. If we're out and about in public people think they can catch the craziness from us or something. It's much easier for them to separate us and forget we ever existed. Almost like being quarantined. I used to see a psychiatrist before I was brought here. I remember the way my mother's friends used to gossip about it. They wouldn't let me play with their children. It's kind of like women who are divorced nowadays. Other women don't talk to them. They're usually shunned.” A dull ache throbs in my side and I clench my fists. “It’s like we're tossed out trash.” Aurora smiles. “That's a great analogy, Adelaide.
Lauren Hammond (White Walls (Asylum, #2))
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
Rather than let author and environmentalist Edward Abbey be buried in a traditional cemetery, his friends stole his body, wrapped it in a sleeping bag, and hauled it in the back of his pickup truck to the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona. They drove down a long dirt road and dug a hole when they reached the end of it, marking Abbey’s name on a nearby stone and pouring whiskey onto the grave. Fitting tribute for Abbey, who spent his career warning humanity of the harm in separating ourselves from nature. “If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves,” he once said. Left
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
there’s a lot of unnecessary meanness that happens while you’re trying to sort out who you want to be, who your friends are, who your friends are not. Adults spend a lot of time talking about bullying in schools these days, but the real problem isn’t as obvious as one kid throwing a Slurpee in another kid’s face. It’s about social isolation. It’s about cruel jokes. It’s about the way kids treat one another. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, how old friends can turn against each other: it seems, sometimes, that it’s not enough for them to go their separate ways—they literally have to “ice” their old buddies out just to prove to the new friends that they’re no longer still friends. That’s the kind of stuff I don’t find acceptable. Fine, don’t be friends anymore: but stay kind about it. Be respectful. Is that too much to ask?
R.J. Palacio (365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Browne's Precepts)
And it is in New York I have those strangest things of all: human friendships. Not many friendships and not of spent familiarities: for I don't like actual human beings too much around me. But yet friendships made of the edges of thoughts and vivid pathos and pregnant odds and ends of nervous human flesh and fire. It is in New York I go to the apartment of a Friend at the end of an afternoon. In the apartment are some persons having tea, men and women. The Friend greets me at the door. She wears maybe a dress of thin dark and light silk, shaped in the quaint outlandish fashion of the hour. And she has shrewd kindly eyes like a Rembrandt portrait, and a worn New-York-ish Latin-ish brain and heart both of which are made of steel, sparkle and the very plain red meat of living. She says, 'Hello-Mary-Mac-Lane,' and clasps my hand, and we exchange a glance of no real understanding at all but suggesting warmed challenge of personality, and an oblique sweet call of depth to depth, and of friendship which by mere force of preference and of our separate quality and calibre is true rather than false. So close and no closer may friendship be. And friendship with-all, is closer than any love. It is the closest human beings ever come to meeting.
Mary MacLane (I, Mary MacLane: A Diary of Human Days)
Negative energy can be a positive motivating force devoid human emo-tion, isolation, and extinction.” “Be careful of the company that you keep, for everyone who smiles in your face is not your friend.” (Thought or Idea) ….. “That’s how the game is told, and that’s how the game is sold.” “For every action there is a reaction, however for every action there is also completely separate action that negates the first action.” “Life’s journey deals you friends in both high places ( + ), and low places ( - ), one can always mate the other.” “Every ending in one’s Life Series, constitutes a beginning De novo, al-ways every time.” “It’s not about your past, it’s about your future …… everyday.
T'adaram Alasadro Maradas
If you ever feel to express proper gratitude for the good things of this life, be sure that you express your gratitude for the right thing. Very likely you will not have a great deal of gratitude, and you must not waste any of it but what you do have will be of the most excellent quality. For it will accumulate, and the accumulation will all go to quality. And the things for which you are to be grateful are the bitternesses you have known. If you have had it in mind ever to give way to bursts of gratitude for this air that comes from off the salt sea, for that line of pearls and violets that you see just above the horizon, for the health of your body, for the sleep that comes to you at the close of the day, for any of those things, then get rid of the idea at once. Those things are quite well, but they are not really given to you. They are merely placed where any one can reach them with little effort. The kind fates don't care whether you get them or not. Their responsibility ends when they leave them there. But the bitternesses they give to each person separately. They give you yours, Mary MacLane, for your very own. Don't say they never think of you.
Mary MacLane (My Friend Annabel Lee)
We’e all encountered those people who out of the corner of our eye, from across the street, at magic hour appear astoundingly attractive, even god or goddess like: the way they move, the way the light hits them, invokes reverence and all, the impression. And then we got a closer look. Damn it. Let down. Good from afar, but far from good. Some people will never be more attractive than in that first impression, from a distance, in that light, at that time, in that way we saw them, when our hopes became highest and our wish fullfillment was fully let it. They will never look better than in that initial fuzzy edge clingups, impressions. The white shot. Some relationships are better in a white shot. More impressive in the impressions. Like in-laws, best to only see an hour a day, like neighbors, its while we have walls and fences, like that long distance romance that fell apart when you moved in together, like that summer fling that only lasted through August, that friend that became a lover that you now miss as a friend, like ourselves when we are a fraud. They are better from a distance, with less frequency, with less intimacy. Sometimes we need more space, it’s romance, it’s imagination. Distance is the flirt in a wing, it is frivolous, its mysterious, a fantasy, a constant honeymoon because we can’t quite see it, we aren’t quite sure about it, we don’t quite know it. It’s a fuck, it’s detachment, it’s separate, it’s public, it’s carefree, it’s painless, it’s for rent. And we like it that way, because sometimes it is better with the lights dimmed.
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
Everyone contributed to this legend except Phineas. At the outset, with the attempt on Hitler’s life, Finny had said, “If someone gave Leper a loaded gun and put it at Hitler’s temple, he’d miss.” There was a general shout of outrage, and then we recommended the building of Leper’s triumphal arch around Brinker’s keystone. Phineas took no part in it, and since little else was talked about in the Butt Room he soon stopped going there and stopped me from going as well—”How do you expect to be an athlete if you smoke like a forest fire?” He drew me increasingly away from the Butt Room crowd, away from Brinker and Chet and all other friends, into a world inhabited by just himself and me, where there was no war at all, just Phineas and me alone among all the people of the world, training for the Olympics of 1944.
John Knowles (A Separate Peace)
The second most common misconception about love is the idea that dependency is love. This is a misconception with which psychotherapists must deal on a daily basis. Its effect is seen most dramatically in an individual who makes an attempt or gesture or threat to commit suicide or who becomes incapacitatingly depressed in response to a rejection or separation from spouse or lover. Such a person says, “I do not want to live, I cannot live without my husband [wife, girl friend, boyfriend], I love him [or her] so much.” And when I respond, as I frequently do, “You are mistaken; you do not love your husband [wife, girl friend, boyfriend].” “What do you mean?” is the angry question. “I just told you I can’t live without him [or her].” I try to explain. “What you describe is parasitism, not love. When you require another individual for your survival, you are a parasite on that individual. There is no choice, no freedom involved in your relationship. It is a matter of necessity rather than love. Love is the free exercise of choice. Two people love each other only when they are quite capable of living without each other but choose to live with each other.
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth)
The Reed Flute's Song Listen to the story told by the reed, of being separated. "Since I was cut from the reedbed, I have made this crying sound. Anyone apart from someone he loves understands what I say. Anyone pulled from a source longs to go back. At any gathering I am there, mingling in the laughing and grieving, a friend to each, but few will hear the secrets hidden within the notes. No ears for that. Body flowing out of spirit, spirit up from body: no concealing that mixing. But it's not given us to see the soul. The reed flute is fire, not wind. Be that empty." Hear the love fire tangled in the reed notes, as bewilderment melts into wine. The reed is a friend to all who want the fabric torn and drawn away. The reed is hurt and salve combining. Intimacy and longing for intimacy, one song. A disastrous surrender and a fine love, together. The one who secretly hears this is senseless. A tongue has one customer, the ear. A sugarcane flute has such effect because it was able to make sugar in the reedbed. The sound it makes is for everyone. Days full of wanting, let them go by without worrying that they do. Stay where you are inside such a pure, hollow note. Every thirst gets satisfied except that of these fish, the mystics, who swim a vast ocean of grace still somehow longing for it! No one lives in that without being nourished every day. But if someone doesn't want to hear the song of the reed flute, it's best to cut conversation short, say good-bye, and leave.
Rumi
Come, Paul!" she reiterated, her eye grazing me with its hard ray like a steel stylet. She pushed against her kinsman. I thought he receded; I thought he would go. Pierced deeper than I could endure, made now to feel what defied suppression, I cried - "My heart will break!" What I felt seemed literal heart-break; but the seal of another fountain yielded under the strain: one breath from M. Paul, the whisper, "Trust me!" lifted a load, opened an outlet. With many a deep sob, with thrilling, with icy shiver, with strong trembling, and yet with relief - I wept. "Leave her to me; it is a crisis: I will give her a cordial, and it will pass," said the calm Madame Beck. To be left to her and her cordial seemed to me something like being left to the poisoner and her bowl. When M. Paul answered deeply, harshly, and briefly - "Laissez-moi!" in the grim sound I felt a music strange, strong, but life-giving. "Laissez-moi!" he repeated, his nostrils opening, and his facial muscles all quivering as he spoke. "But this will never do," said Madame, with sternness. More sternly rejoined her kinsman - "Sortez d'ici!" "I will send for Père Silas: on the spot I will send for him," she threatened pertinaciously. "Femme!" cried the Professor, not now in his deep tones, but in his highest and most excited key, "Femme! sortez à l'instant!" He was roused, and I loved him in his wrath with a passion beyond what I had yet felt. "What you do is wrong," pursued Madame; "it is an act characteristic of men of your unreliable, imaginative temperament; a step impulsive, injudicious, inconsistent - a proceeding vexatious, and not estimable in the view of persons of steadier and more resolute character." "You know not what I have of steady and resolute in me," said he, "but you shall see; the event shall teach you. Modeste," he continued less fiercely, "be gentle, be pitying, be a woman; look at this poor face, and relent. You know I am your friend, and the friend of your friends; in spite of your taunts, you well and deeply know I may be trusted. Of sacrificing myself I made no difficulty but my heart is pained by what I see; it must have and give solace. Leave me!" This time, in the "leave me" there was an intonation so bitter and so imperative, I wondered that even Madame Beck herself could for one moment delay obedience; but she stood firm; she gazed upon him dauntless; she met his eye, forbidding and fixed as stone. She was opening her lips to retort; I saw over all M. Paul's face a quick rising light and fire; I can hardly tell how he managed the movement; it did not seem violent; it kept the form of courtesy; he gave his hand; it scarce touched her I thought; she ran, she whirled from the room; she was gone, and the door shut, in one second. The flash of passion was all over very soon. He smiled as he told me to wipe my eyes; he waited quietly till I was calm, dropping from time to time a stilling, solacing word. Ere long I sat beside him once more myself - re-assured, not desperate, nor yet desolate; not friendless, not hopeless, not sick of life, and seeking death. "It made you very sad then to lose your friend?" said he. "It kills me to be forgotten, Monsieur," I said.
Charlotte Brontë (Villette)
Aloneness – that is what SM feels like to me. Isolated, alone, separated, left out as I silently stand by watching others experience life while the words freeze inside me, afraid to speak up or join in a conversation. Actually feeling the anxiety shaking inside my chest as I try to get up the courage to speak to someone or call or text a friend. SM feels like the child standing alone behind the door watching the other kids in the playground – afraid to ask, 'may I play?' It feels like the teenager standing silently against the wall, listening to classmates laugh and chat, invisible to everyone and wondering what it would be like to have a friend. It feels like the 50-year-old office worker, alone in her cube while others chat and laugh in the aisle, still left out. I live inside a shell, a mask that looks like me, but isn't me. I am in here, but it is really hard to let others see. I'm so grateful for the few dear friends I have now. Most people, though, only see the shell and assume I'm aloof and uncaring because I am quiet. I feel very deeply. I feel others' joy and pain intensely, yet they rarely know. I'm not quiet because I am uncaring. I'm silent because I'm afraid.
Carl Sutton (Selective Mutism In Our Own Words: Experiences in Childhood and Adulthood)
Just as soon as I meet and learn to love a friend we must part and go our separate ways, never to meet on quite the same ground again. For, disguise the fact as we will, when friends, even the closest-and perhaps the more so on account of that very closeness-meet again after a separation there is always a chill, lesser or greater, of change. Neither finds the other quite the same. This is only natural. Human nature is ever growing or retrograding-never stationary. But still, with all our philosophy who of us can repress a little feeling of bewildered disappointment when we realize that our friend is not and never can be just the same as before-even although the change may be an improvement?
L.M. Montgomery
The Internet is a good filter. It’s a good way to find men who share some of your values. However, your friends on message boards and on social networking sites, scattered all over the world, are not going to be there for you when the proverbial shit hits the fan. Spend more time making contact with men who are geographically close to you. If you have close friends in your area, consider moving into the same apartment complex or within a few blocks of one another. Think about the way gangs start in inner cities. Men and boys have lived and died to defend tribes with territories as small as a few blocks. Proximity creates familiarity and shared identity. It creates us. Spreading our alliances across nations and continents keeps us reliant on the power of the State and the global economy. Men who are separated and have no one else to rely on must rely on the State.
Jack Donovan (The Way of Men)
Just as reality intrudes upon the two-year-old’s fantasy of omnipotence so does reality intrude upon the fantastic unity of the couple who have fallen in love. Sooner or later, in response to the problems of daily living, individual will reasserts itself. He wants to have sex; she doesn’t. She wants to go to the movies; he doesn’t. He wants to put money in the bank; she wants a dishwasher. She wants to talk about her job; he wants to talk about his. She doesn’t like his friends; he doesn’t like hers. So both of them, in the privacy of their hearts, begin to come to the sickening realization that they are not one with the beloved, that the beloved has and will continue to have his or her own desires, tastes, prejudices and timing different from the other’s. One by one, gradually or suddenly, the ego boundaries snap back into place; gradually or suddenly, they fall out of love. Once again they are two separate individuals. At this point they begin either to dissolve the ties of their relationship or to initiate the work of real loving. By
M. Scott Peck (The Road Less Travelled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Classic Edition))
That night, as Cork lay in his bedroll, he thought about the bear they were after. He was glad Sam had changed his mind about killing the great animal, but he hoped they would at least see it. He thought about the Windigo, which was something he hoped he would not see. And he thought about his father, whom he would never see again. These were all elements of his life, and although they were separate things, they were now intertwined somehow like the roots of a tree. All his life he would remember the bear hunt with Sam Winter Moon. In some manner he didn't quite understand, the hunt had opened a way in him for the grief to begin passing through. All his life he would be grateful to his father's friend.
William Kent Krueger (Iron Lake (Cork O'Connor, #1))
There is only one way out of this, namely, total separation from all the world. But withdrawal from the world does not mean physical removal from it. Rather, it is the withdrawal by the soul of any sympathy for the body. One becomes stateless and homeless. One gives up possessions, friends, ownership and property, livelihood, business connection, social life and scholarship. The heart is made ready to receive the imprint of sacred teaching, and this making ready involves the unlearning of knowledge deriving from evil habits. To write on wax, one has first to erase the letters previously written there, and to bring sacred teaching to the soul one must begin by wiping out preoccupation rooted in ordinary habits.
Basil the Great
And as for Martha-I never understood when I was at Ault why she liked me as much as I liked her. Even now, I'm still not sure. I couldn't give back half of what she gave me, and that fact should have knocked off the balance between us, but it didn't, and I don't know why not....But she had liked me before I became likable; that was the confusing part....Martha was the closest friend I'd ever had; I was, as always, preoccupied by the present moment; and I was too young then to understand how simple facts of geography and time can separate people.
Curtis Sittenfield
I was sitting in front of the hut and watching the ground darken and the sea grow a phosphorescent green. Not a soul was to be seen from one end of the beach to the other, not a sail, not a bird. Only the smell of the earth entered through the window. I rose and held out my hand to the rain like a beggar. I suddenly felt like weeping. Some sorrow, not my own but deeper and more obscure, was rising from the damp earth: the panic which a peaceful grazing animal feels when, all at once, without have seen anything, it rears its head and scents in the air about it that it is trapped and cannot escape. I wanted to utter a cry, knowing that it would relieve my feelings, but I was ashamed to. The clouds were coming lower and lower. I looked through the window; my heart was gently palpitating. What a voluptuous enjoyment of sorrow those hours of soft rain can produce in you! All bitter memories hidden in the depths of your mind come to the surface: separations from friends, women’s smiles which have faded, hopes which have lost their wings like moths and of which only a grub remains – and that grub had crawled on to the leaf of my heart and eating it away.
Nikos Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek)
Wealth, knowledge and trust. They loved each other dearly. They lived together. Once God called them, and said for the betterment of the society you three will have to live separately. They didn’t want to go away from each other, but for the betterment of society they accepted God’s proposal. They decided to live separately. On their separation party, God said that you three friends can decide the place where you can meet each other easily. Wealth said to his two good friends that they can meet him at the rich person's house. Knowledge said that they can meet him at school, college, temple, mosque, church or books. Trust didn't answer anything. Knowledge and wealth asked him again that where they can meet Trust. Trust said you won’t be able to find or meet me again. Once I am gone. I am gone forever,
Nisha B. Thakur (First You Plz)
1 One went to the door of the Beloved and knocked. A voice asked: “Who is there?” He answered: “It is I.” The voice said: “There is no room here for me and thee.” The door was shut. After a year of solitude and deprivation this man returned to the door of the Beloved. He knocked. A voice from within asked: “Who is there?” The man said: “It is Thou.” The door was opened for him. 2 The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere, they’re in each other all along. 3 Love is from the infinite, and will remain until eternity. The seeker of love escapes the chains of birth and death. Tomorrow, when resurrection comes, The heart that is not in love will fail the test. 4 When your chest is free of your limiting ego, Then you will see the ageless Beloved. You can not see yourself without a mirror; Look at the Beloved, He is the brightest mirror. 5 Your love lifts my soul from the body to the sky And you lift me up out of the two worlds. I want your sun to reach my raindrops, So your heat can raise my soul upward like a cloud. 6 There is a candle in the heart of man, waiting to be kindled. In separation from the Friend, there is a cut waiting to be stitched. O, you who are ignorant of endurance and the burning fire of love– Love comes of its own free will, it can’t be learned in any school. 7 There are two kinds of intelligence: one acquired, as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts from books and from what the teacher says, collecting information from the traditional sciences as well as from the new sciences. With such intelligence you rise in the world. You get ranked ahead or behind others in regard to your competence in retaining information. You stroll with this intelligence in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more marks on your preserving tablets. There is another kind of tablet, one already completed and preserved inside you. A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness in the center of the chest. This other intelligence does not turn yellow or stagnate. It’s fluid, and it doesn’t move from outside to inside through conduits of plumbing-learning. This second knowing is a fountainhead from within you, moving out.
Rumi
Shri Ram said: “Ever since I have been separated from you, Sita, everything to me has become its very reverse. The fresh and tender leaves on the trees look like tongues of fire; nights appear as dreadful as the night of final dissolution and the moon scorches like the sun. Beds of lotuses are like so many spears planted on the ground, while rain-clouds pour boiling oil as it were. Those that were friendly before, have now become tormenting; the cool, soft and fragrant breezes are now like the hissing serpent. One’s agony is assuaged to some extent even by speaking of it, but to whom shall I speak about it? For there is no one who will understand. The reality about the chord of love that binds you and me, dear, is known to my heart alone; and my heart ever abides with you. Know this to be the essence of my love.
Tulsidas (Ramayana)
Since the dawn of time, several billion human (or humanlike) beings have lived, each contributing a little genetic variability to the total human stock. Out of this vast number, the whole of our understanding of human prehistory is based on the remains, often exceedingly fragmentary, of perhaps five thousand individuals. You could fit it all into the back of a pickup truck if you didn't mind how much you jumbled everything up, Ian Tattersall, the bearded and friendly curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, replied when I asked him the size of the total world archive of hominid and early human bones. The shortage wouldn't be so bad if the bones were distributed evenly through time and space, but of course they are not. They appear randomly, often in the most tantalizing fashion. Homo erectus walked the Earth for well over a million years and inhabited territory from the Atlantic edge of Europe to the Pacific side of China, yet if you brought back to life every Homo erectus individual whose existence we can vouch for, they wouldn't fill a school bus. Homo habilis consists of even less: just two partial skeletons and a number of isolated limb bones. Something as short-lived as our own civilization would almost certainly not be known from the fossil record at all. In Europe, Tattersall offers by way of illustration, you've got hominid skulls in Georgia dated to about 1.7 million years ago, but then you have a gap of almost a million years before the next remains turn up in Spain, right on the other side of the continent, and then you've got another 300,000-year gap before you get a Homo heidelbergensis in Germany and none of them looks terribly much like any of the others. He smiled. It's from these kinds of fragmentary pieces that you're trying to work out the histories of entire species. It's quite a tall order. We really have very little idea of the relationships between many ancient species which led to us and which were evolutionary dead ends. Some probably don't deserve to be regarded as separate species at all.
Bill Bryson (A Short History of Nearly Everything)
Do not oversleep and miss the school bus- you'll be late. That's a habit teachers generally don't appreciate. Never tell your friends at school that you still wet your bed. They are sure to tease you, and you'll wish that you were dead. Never call your teacher a name when she's not near you. Teachers' ears are excellent, so they can always hear you. Do not read a textbook when your hands aren't clean-it's tricky to separate the pages when the pages get real sticky. When you go out for a team it's always wise to practice. When you are a substitute, the bench can feel like cactus. Do not copy homework from a friend who is a dummy. If you do, I'm sure that you will get a grade that's crummy. And if your report card's bad, don't blame it on your buddy. Kiss up to your parents quick, or they might make you study.
Bruce Lansky
. . . and what are you exactly, my friend? Their subordinate? Their employee? Or, I would suggest, their equal? That's what young Karl would certainly have said, and probably still does. Unless he's no longer alive.' Dodger gave Solomon and strange look and Solomon hastened to clarify. "'Mmmm, as I recall, if you go around telling people that they are downtrodden, you tend to make two separate enemies: the people who are doing the downtreading and have no intention of stopping, and the people who are downtrodden, but nevertheless -- people being who they are -- don't want to know. They can get quite nasty about it.' (205)
Terry Pratchett (Dodger)
We take it for granted that life moves forward. You build memories; you build momentum.You move as a rower moves: facing backwards. You can see where you've been, but not where you’re going. And your boat is steered by a younger version of you. It's hard not to wonder what life would be like facing the other way. Avenoir. You'd see your memories approaching for years, and watch as they slowly become real. You’d know which friendships will last, which days are important, and prepare for upcoming mistakes. You'd go to school, and learn to forget. One by one you'd patch things up with old friends, enjoying one last conversation before you meet and go your separate ways. And then your life would expand into epic drama. The colors would get sharper, the world would feel bigger. You'd become nothing other than yourself, reveling in your own weirdness. You'd fall out of old habits until you could picture yourself becoming almost anything. Your family would drift slowly together, finding each other again. You wouldn't have to wonder how much time you had left with people, or how their lives would turn out. You'd know from the start which week was the happiest you’ll ever be, so you could relive it again and again. You'd remember what home feels like, and decide to move there for good. You'd grow smaller as the years pass, as if trying to give away everything you had before leaving. You'd try everything one last time, until it all felt new again. And then the world would finally earn your trust, until you’d think nothing of jumping freely into things, into the arms of other people. You'd start to notice that each summer feels longer than the last. Until you reach the long coasting retirement of childhood. You'd become generous, and give everything back. Pretty soon you’d run out of things to give, things to say, things to see. By then you'll have found someone perfect; and she'll become your world. And you will have left this world just as you found it. Nothing left to remember, nothing left to regret, with your whole life laid out in front of you, and your whole life left behind.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
My girl got sick. She was constantly nervous because of problems at work, personal life, her failures and children. She lost 30 pounds and weighted about 90 pounds. She got very skinny and was constantly crying. She was not a happy woman. She had suffered from continuing headaches, heart pain and jammed nerves in her back and ribs. She did not sleep well, falling asleep only in the mornings and got tired very quickly during the day. Our relationship was on the verge of a break up. Her beauty was leaving her somewhere, she had bags under her eyes, she was poking her head, and stopped taking care of herself. She refused to shoot the films and rejected any role. I lost hope and thought that we’ll get separated soon… But then I decided to act. After all I’ve got the MOST Beautiful Woman on earth. She is the idol of more than half of men and women on earth, and I was the one allowed to fall asleep next to her and to hug her. I began to shower her with flowers, kisses and compliments. I surprised and pleased her every minute. I gave her a lot of gifts and lived just for her. I spoke in public only about her. I incorporated all themes in her direction. I praised her in front of her own and our mutual friends. You won’t believe it, but she blossomed. She became better. She gained weight, was no longer nervous and loved me even more than ever. I had no clue that she CAN love that much. And then I realized one thing: the woman is the reflection of her man. If you love her to the point of madness, she will become it.
Brad Pitt
I remember an insight that taught me much about life. One day I felt that I had everything that I really wanted in life. I had a creative and meaningful work as a therapist and course leader, I had a relationship with a beautiful woman, who I loved and who loved me, I had friend that I trusted and I had money to do what I wanted. But in spite of all this, I still had a feeling that there was something missing in my life. I was not satisfied. The thirst and longing in my heart was still searching for something more. It made me realize that the deepest pain in my heart was that I was still separated from the Whole and that no outer things or relationships could ease this pain.
Swami Dhyan Giten (Presence - Working from Within. The Psychology of Being)
Here is where the rhetoric of modern conservatives (and I say this as one of them) fails to meet the real challenges of their biggest constituents. Instead of encouraging engagement, conservatives increasingly foment the kind of detachment that has sapped the ambition of so many of my peers. I have watched some friends blossom into successful adults and others fall victim to the worst of Middletown’s temptations—premature parenthood, drugs, incarceration. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
How else could we identify another weirdo or outlier? These symbols intimated a belief system, a way of thinking not just about music but about school and friends and politics and society. It was also a way to separate yourself, to feel bold or try on boldness without yet possessing it. A little inkling of the nonconformist person you could be—you wanted to be—but weren’t quite ready to commit to. I papered my walls with band posters and what little I could find in mainstream magazines about alternative and punk, maybe a picture of Babes in Toyland from Spin or Fugazi from Option. The iconoclast images and iconography covered my room, a jarring contrast to the preppy blue-and-white-striped wallpaper I’d insisted on in elementary school. I resented the parts of myself that were late to adopt coolness, late to learn—I wanted to have always possessed a savviness and sophistication, even though I clearly had neither.
Carrie Brownstein (Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir)
A tear slipped from eye, as I stood helpless beside Kiran. “They have done nothing wrong, except fight for the freedom you have stolen from them, from all of us!” I shouted back, unable to stay silent when my friends stood at his mercy. “I give you freedom, the freedom to live your life as you please,” Lucan challenged, tilting his chin with pride and sincerity. “I ask nothing of you, except for your loyalty. I am the king, it is the least of what I deserve,” Lucan turned to address the kingdom, his argument ringing through the air. “Then why is it only your bloodline that is allowed immortality?” I argued, taking a step forward. “Why do the rest of our people suffer from the separation of races? Why are the Shape-shifters exiled by penalty of death? What have they done? What is their crime? Are you afraid to share true immortality? Are you so scared of a people that realize they don’t need a king?” I turned to face the crowd too, hoping to empower them with my words.
Rachel Higginson (Endless Magic (Star-Crossed, #4))
HAZEL WASN’T PROUD OF CRYING. After the tunnel collapsed, she wept and screamed like a two-year-old throwing a tantrum. She couldn’t move the debris that separated her and Leo from the others. If the earth shifted any more, the entire complex might collapse on their heads. Still, she pounded her fists against the stones and yelled curses that would’ve earned her a mouth-washing with lye soap back at St. Agnes Academy. Leo stared at her, wide-eyed and speechless. She wasn’t being fair to him. The last time the two of them had been together, she’d zapped him into her past and shown him Sammy, his great-grandfather—Hazel’s first boyfriend. She’d burdened him with emotional baggage he didn’t need, and left him so dazed they had almost gotten killed by a giant shrimp monster. Now here they were, alone again, while their friends might be dying at the hands of a monster army, and she was throwing a fit. “Sorry.” She wiped her face. “Hey, you know…” Leo shrugged. “I’ve attacked a few rocks in my day.” She swallowed with difficulty. “Frank is…he’s—” “Listen,” Leo said. “Frank Zhang has moves. He’s probably gonna turn into a kangaroo and do some marsupial jujitsu on their ugly faces.” He helped her to her feet. Despite the panic simmering inside her, she knew Leo was right. Frank and the others weren’t helpless. They would find a way to survive. The best thing she and Leo could do was carry on. She studied Leo. His hair had grown out longer and shaggier, and his face was leaner, so he looked less like an imp and more like one of those willowy elves in the fairy tales. The biggest difference was his eyes. They constantly drifted, as if Leo was trying to spot something over the horizon. “Leo, I’m sorry,” she said. He raised an eyebrow. “Okay. For what?” “For…” She gestured around her helplessly. “Everything. For thinking you were Sammy, for leading you on. I mean, I didn’t mean to, but if I did—” “Hey.” He squeezed her hand, though Hazel sensed nothing romantic in the gesture. “Machines are designed to work.” “Uh, what?” “I figure the universe is basically like a machine. I don’t know who made it, if it was the Fates, or the gods, or capital-G God, or whatever. But it chugs along the way it’s supposed to most of the time. Sure, little pieces break and stuff goes haywire once in a while, but mostly…things happen for a reason. Like you and me meeting.” “Leo Valdez,” Hazel marveled, “you’re a philosopher.” “Nah,” he said. “I’m just a mechanic. But I figure my bisabuelo Sammy knew what was what. He let you go, Hazel. My job is to tell you that it’s okay. You and Frank—you’re good together. We’re all going to get through this. I hope you guys get a chance to be happy. Besides, Zhang couldn’t tie his shoes without your help.” “That’s mean,” Hazel chided, but she felt like something was untangling inside her—a knot of tension she’d been carrying for weeks. Leo really had changed. Hazel was starting to think she’d found a good friend. “What happened to you when you were on your own?” she asked. “Who did you meet?” Leo’s eye twitched. “Long story. I’ll tell you sometime, but I’m still waiting to see how it shakes out.” “The universe is a machine,” Hazel said, “so it’ll be fine.” “Hopefully.” “As long as it’s not one of your machines,” Hazel added. “Because your machines never do what they’re supposed to.” “Yeah, ha-ha.” Leo summoned fire into his hand. “Now, which way, Miss Underground?” Hazel scanned the path in front of them. About thirty feet down, the tunnel split into four smaller arteries, each one identical, but the one on the left radiated cold. “That way,” she decided. “It feels the most dangerous.” “I’m sold,” said Leo. They began their descent.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Finally, as the sky began to grow light in the morning, I’d feel that I might be drifting off. But that wasn’t sleep. My fingertips were just barely brushing against the outermost edge of sleep. And all the while, my mind was awake. I would feel a hint of drowsiness, but my mind was there, in its own room, on the other side of a transparent wall, watching me. My physical self was drifting through the feeble morning light, and all the while it could feel my mind staring, breathing, close beside it. I was both a body on the verge of sleep and a mind determined to stay awake. The incomplete drowsiness would continue on and off all day. My head was always foggy. I couldn’t get an accurate fix on the things around me—their distance or mass or texture. The drowsiness would overtake me at regular, wavelike intervals: on the subway, in the classroom, at the dinner table. My mind would slip away from my body. The world would sway soundlessly. I would drop things. My pencil or my purse or my fork would clatter to the floor. All I wanted was to throw myself down and sleep. But I couldn’t. The wakefulness was always there beside me. I could feel its chilling shadow. It was the shadow of myself. Weird, I would think as the drowsiness overtook me, I’m in my own shadow. I would walk and eat and talk to people inside my drowsiness. And the strangest thing was that no one noticed. I lost fifteen pounds that month, and no one noticed. No one in my family, not one of my friends or classmates, realized that I was going through life asleep. It was literally true: I was going through life asleep. My body had no more feeling than a drowned corpse. My very existence, my life in the world, seemed like a hallucination. A strong wind would make me think that my body was about to be blown to the end of the earth, to some land I had never seen or heard of, where my mind and body would separate forever. Hold tight, I would tell myself, but there was nothing for me to hold on to.
Haruki Murakami
I am not separate from you, my neighbour. If you are my enemy then I am my own enemy. If you are my friend then I am my own friend. Today, I have stripped off my masks and come to know myself. I am Christian. I am Jew. I am Muslim and Hindu. I am European and African. Asian and South American. I am man. I am woman. I am intersexed. I am homosexual. I am heterosexual and asexual. I am abled. I am disabled. I am all these things because you are, and you are all these things because we are. I exist in relation to each of you, this is what gives my being meaning. Why must I label myself like a bottle of wine? When I am the bottle, the wine, and the drunkenness. Why must I label myself at all? When I am the flesh, the light, and the shadow. When I am the voice, the song, and the echo. Tell me why I must label myself when I am the lover, the beloved, and love. I am not separate from you, my neighbour. And you are not separate from humanity. We are all mirrors, reflecting one another in perpetuity.
Kamand Kojouri
Dear Pighead,   The reason I am so distant is because, well, there are two reasons actually. The first reason is my drinking. I require alcohol, nightly. And nothing can get in the way. The second reason is your disease. I can’t stand the idea of getting close to you, or closer, only to have you up and die on me, pulling the carpet out from under my life. You’re my best friend. The best friend I ever had. I have to protect that. I don’t call you or see you much because I’m killing you off now, while it’s easier. Because I can still talk to you. It makes sense to me to separate now, while you’re still healthy, as opposed to having it just happen to me one night out of the blue. I’m trying to evenly distribute the pain of loss. As opposed to taking it in one lump sum.
Augusten Burroughs (Dry)
If I may, Miss,” Sands said. “What you call ‘a mascot’ is more what should be termed ‘an icon.’ A subject not just of morale but of veneration or even worship. These men are United States Marines, yes, and they will continue to do their duty. But they are Marines who have lost everything. Family, friends, buddies, country. We are one and all lost and adrift on a darkling sea. You, Miss Smith, have become not their pin-up girl but their heart and soul. They would follow me into hell. Charge any shore, face any fire. I am their Gunny. That’s what Marines do. If you hinted that Satan had a case of ammo you particularly liked, they would charge in without a bucket of water. As Staff Sergeant Januscheitis said when he, separately, brought the idea up: ‘The only thing we’ve got left, Gunny, is Faith.
John Ringo (To Sail a Darkling Sea (Black Tide Rising, #2))
The word is dissociate. There is no 'a' before the 'ss'. People invariably say dis-a-ssociate, which, if you're suffering Disso-ciative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder, can be irritating. People then want to know how many personalities I have and the answer is: I don't know. The first book about Multiple Personality Disorder to make an impact was Flora Rheta Schreiber's Sybil, published in 1973, which carries the subtitle: The True and Extraordinary Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Separate Personalities. Corbett H. Thigpen and Hervey M. Cleckley published the controversial The Three Faces of Eve much earlier in 1957, and Pete Townshend from The Who wrote the song 'Four Faces'. People seem to feel safe with numbers. The truth is more complicated. The kids emerged over time. Billy, the boisterous five-year-old, was at first the most dominant. But he slowly stood aside for JJ, the self-confident ten-year-old who appears when Alice is under stress and handles complicated situations like travelling on the Underground and meeting new people. The first entity to visit was the external voice of the Professor. But he had a choir of accomplices without names. So, how many actual alter personalities are there? I would say more than fifteen and less than thirty, a combination of protectors, persecutors and friends - my own family tree.
Alice Jamieson (Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind)
It was early morning and already hot. There was a strong odor of earth and grass drying in the sun. We climbed among tall shrubs, on indistinct paths that led toward the tracks. When we reached an electrical pylon we took off our smocks and put them in the schoolbags, which we hid in the bushes. Then we raced through the scrubland, which we knew well, and flew excitedly down the slope that led to the tunnel. The entrance on the right was very dark: we had never been inside that obscurity. We held each other by the hand and entered. It was a long passage, and the luminous circle of the exit seemed far away. Once we got accustomed to the shadowy light, we saw lines of silvery water that slid along the walls, large puddles. Apprehensively, dazed by the echo of our steps, we kept going. Then Lila let out a shout and laughed at the violent explosion of sound. Immediately I shouted and laughed in turn. From that moment all we did was shout, together and separately: laughter and cries, cries and laughter, for the pleasure of hearing them amplified. The tension diminished, the journey began.
Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend (The Neapolitan Novels, #1))
How oddly situated a man is apt to find himself at age thirty-eight! His youth belongs to the distant past. Yet the period of memory beginning with the end of youth and extending to the present has left him not a single vivid impression. And therefore he persists in feeling that nothing more than a fragile barrier separates him from his youth. He is forever hearing with the utmost clarity the sounds of this neighboring domain, but there is no way to penetrate the barrier. Honda felt that his youth had ended with the death of Kiyoaki Matsugae. At that moment something real within him, something that had burned with a vibrant brilliance, suddenly ceased to be. Now, late at night, when Honda grew weary of his legal drafts, he would pick up the dream journal that Kiyoaki had left him and turn over its pages. (...) Since then eighteen years had passed. The border between dream and memory had grown indistinct in Honda’s mind. Because the words contained in this journal, his only souvenir of his friend, had been traced there by Kiyoaki’s own hand, it had profound significance for Honda. These dreams, left like a handful of gold dust in a winnowing pan, were charged with wonder. As time went by, the dreams and the reality took on equal worth among Honda’s diverse memories. What had actually occurred was in the process of merging with what could have occurred. As reality rapidly gave way to dreams, the past seemed very much like the future. When he was young, there had been only one reality, and the future had seemed to stretch before him, swelling with immense possibilities. But as he grew older, reality seemed to take many forms, and it was the past that seemed refracted into innumerable possibilities. Since each of these was linked with its own reality, the line distinguishing dream and reality became all the more obscure. His memories were in constant flux, and had taken on the aspect of a dream.
Yukio Mishima (Runaway Horses)
How to describe the things we see onscreen, experiences we have that are not ours? After so many hours (days, weeks, years) of watching TV—the morning talk shows, the daily soaps, the nightly news and then into prime time (The Bachelor, Game of Thrones, The Voice)—after a decade of studying the viral videos of late-night hosts and Funny or Die clips emailed by friends, how are we to tell the difference between them, if the experience of watching them is the same? To watch the Twin Towers fall and on the same device in the same room then watch a marathon of Everybody Loves Raymond. To Netflix an episode of The Care Bears with your children, and then later that night (after the kids are in bed) search for amateur couples who’ve filmed themselves breaking the laws of several states. To videoconference from your work computer with Jan and Michael from the Akron office (about the new time-sheet protocols), then click (against your better instincts) on an embedded link to a jihadi beheading video. How do we separate these things in our brains when the experience of watching them—sitting or standing before the screen, perhaps eating a bowl of cereal, either alone or with others, but, in any case, always with part of us still rooted in our own daily slog (distracted by deadlines, trying to decide what to wear on a date later)—is the same? Watching, by definition, is different from doing.
Noah Hawley (Before the Fall)
In 1967, the second resolution to the cat problem was formulated by Nobel laureate Eugene Wigner, whose work was pivotal in laying the foundation of quantum mechanics and also building the atomic bomb. He said that only a conscious person can make an observation that collapses the wave function. But who is to say that this person exists? You cannot separate the observer from the observed, so maybe this person is also dead and alive. In other words, there has to be a new wave function that includes both the cat and the observer. To make sure that the observer is alive, you need a second observer to watch the first observer. This second observer is called “Wigner’s friend,” and is necessary to watch the first observer so that all waves collapse. But how do we know that the second observer is alive? The second observer has to be included in a still-larger wave function to make sure he is alive, but this can be continued indefinitely. Since you need an infinite number of “friends” to collapse the previous wave function to make sure they are alive, you need some form of “cosmic consciousness,” or God. Wigner concluded: “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Toward the end of his life, he even became interested in the Vedanta philosophy of Hinduism. In this approach, God or some eternal consciousness watches over all of us, collapsing our wave functions so that we can say we are alive. This interpretation yields the same physical results as the Copenhagen interpretation, so this theory cannot be disproven. But the implication is that consciousness is the fundamental entity in the universe, more fundamental than atoms. The material world may come and go, but consciousness remains as the defining element, which means that consciousness, in some sense, creates reality. The very existence of the atoms we see around us is based on our ability to see and touch them.
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest To Understand, Enhance and Empower the Mind)
It’s funny, but when I talk about this business of my father and Valentina with my women friends, they’re absolutely appalled. They see a vulnerable old man who’s being exploited. Yet all the men I talk to—without any exception, Mike” (I wag my finger) “they respond with these wry knowing smiles, these little admiring chuckles. Oh, what a lad he is. What an achievement, pulling this much younger bird. Best of luck to him. Let him have his bit of fun.” “You must admit, it’s done him good.” “I don’t admit anything.” (It’s much less satisfying arguing with Mike than with Vera or Pappa. He’s always so irritatingly reasonable.) “Are you sure you’re not just being a bit puritanical?” “Of course I’m not!” (So what if I am?) “It’s because he’s my father—I just want him to be grown up.” “He is being grown up, in his way.” “No he’s not, he’s being a lad. An eighty-four-year-old lad. You’re all being lads together. Wink wink. Nudge nudge. What a great pair of knockers. For goodness’ sake!” My voice has risen to a shriek. “But you can see it’s doing him good, this new relationship. It’s breathed new life into him. Just goes to show that you’re never too old for love.” “You mean for sex.” “Well, maybe that as well. Your Dad is just hoping to fulfil every man’s dream—to lie in the arms of a beautiful younger woman.” “Every man’s dream?” That night Mike and I sleep in separate beds.
Marina Lewycka (A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian)
From thirty-five to forty-two, a new step, a new door opens. If up to the age of thirty-five you have felt deep harmony, an orgasmic feeling, and you have discovered meditation through it, then from thirty-five to forty-two you will help each other go more and more into that meditation without sex, because at this point sex starts looking childish, juvenile. The age of forty-two is the time when a person should be able to know exactly who he is. From forty-two to forty-nine he goes deeper and deeper into meditation, more and more into himself, and helps the partner in the same way. The partners become friends. There is no more “husband” and no more “wife” that time has passed. It has given its richness to your life; now there is something growing that is even higher than love. That is friendliness, a compassionate relationship to help the other to go deeper into himself or herself, to become more independent, to become more alone, just like two tall trees standing separate but still close to each other, or two pillars in a temple supporting the same roof—standing so close, but also so separate and independent and alone.
Osho (Being in Love: How to Love with Awareness and Relate Without Fear)
To all my friends who constantly talk disparagingly about the supposed 'homosexual lifestyle' and stereotype gay people and the community, I'd like to get this straight. There are essentially two worlds – the 'gay scene' and the gay (or LGBTIQ) community. The 'scene' is like the tip of the iceberg; what is seen by others because it is visible on a street, suburb or pride parade. Like the ninety percent of the submerged iceberg, the community is larger and less visible. It consists of organisations, groups, support networks and also gay and lesbian singles and couples living 'normal' lives in the suburbs. Occasionally there is an overlap but not often. Some live, socialise and work in both. Many never enter each others worlds. The values, lifestyles and culture of these two worlds are as different as Asian culture is to western is to African is to Middle Eastern. Dig down even deeper below the surface and you find it is not a single community but diverse communities and subcultures that are separate but not necessarily divided. The common thing that binds them together is their experience of inequality, discrimination and their desire to make a better world for themselves, others and future generations. If you believe that all gays and lesbians are shallow and obsessed with sex, body image, partying, nightclubs and bars then you are obviously an observer from the outside or mixing in the wrong circles.
Anthony Venn-Brown OAM (A Life of Unlearning - a journey to find the truth)
My views in my early 20’s and kept me separate from those around me. Those views were all about making myself feel significant by bringing other people down. I thought having special problems made me special. Problems don’t make people special. Solving them does. My views created an Us-vs-Them perspective of the world. Solving my problem required finding more Us people and to avoid Them. I wanted a special club of Us people. The problem was that all the Us people I found thought that their problems were more unique than the other Us people. We never bonded. We were still separating ourselves by one-upping each other about the uniqueness of our problems. The upside to Us-Vs-Them is that we feel special being Us. Unfortunately feeling special doesn’t outweigh the significant downside. There will always be more Them than Us There has to be. Otherwise, the exclusively club of Us wouldn’t be exclusive. So to maintain the exclusivity, we make more rules in our head to keep others out. We become more dependent on less people and are devastated when those people don’t reciprocate by valuing our friendship with the same mindfulness. Finding more people to connect with seems beyond our control because we automatically put everyone in the Them column and wait for people to work their way into the Us column. The problem is no one wants to have to prove themselves in order to become friends. We end up waiting and waiting.
Corin
in private, a person says all sorts of things, slurs friends, uses coarse language, acts silly, tells dirty jokes, repeats himself, makes a companion laugh by shocking him with outrageous talk, floats heretical ideas he'd never admit in public, and so forth. Of course, we all act like Prochazka, in private we bad-mouth our friends and use coarse language; that we act different in private than in public is everyone's most conspicuous experience, it is the very ground of the life of the individual; curiously, this obvious fact remains unconscious, unacknowledged, forever obscured by lyrical dreams of the transparent glass house, it is rarely understood to be the value one must defend beyond all others. Thus only gradually did people realize (though their rage was all the greater) that the real scandal was not Prochazka's daring talk but the rape of his life; they realized (as if by electric shock) that private and public are two essentially different worlds and that respect for that difference is the indispensable condition, the sine qua non, for a man to live free; that the curtain separating these two worlds is not to be tampered with, and that curtain-rippers are criminals.
Milan Kundera (The Unbearable Lightness of Being)
One day, soon after her disappearance, an attack of abominable nausea forced me to pull up on the ghost of an old mountain road that now accompanied, now traversed a brand new highway, with its population of asters bathing in the detached warmth of a pale-blue afternoon in late summer. After coughing myself inside out I rested a while on a boulder and then thinking the sweet air might do me good, walked a little way toward a low stone parapet on the precipice side of the highway. Small grasshoppers spurted out of the withered roadside weeds. A very light cloud was opening its arms and moving toward a slightly more substantial one belonging to another, more sluggish, heavenlogged system. As I approached the friendly abyss, I grew aware of a melodious unity of sounds rising like vapor from a small mining town that lay at my feet, in a fold of the valley. One could make out the geometry of the streets between blocks of red and gray roofs, and green puffs of trees, and a serpentine stream, and the rich, ore-like glitter of the city dump, and beyond the town, roads crisscrossing the crazy quilt of dark and pale fields, and behind it all, great timbered mountains. But even brighter than those quietly rejoicing colors - for there are colors and shades that seem to enjoy themselves in good company - both brighter and dreamier to the ear than they were to the eye, was that vapory vibration of accumulated sounds that never ceased for a moment, as it rose to the lip of granite where I stood wiping my foul mouth. And soon I realized that all these sounds were of one nature, that no other sounds but these came from the streets of the transparent town, with the women at home and the men away. Reader! What I heard was but the melody of children at play, nothing but that, and so limpid was the air that within this vapor of blended voices, majestic and minute, remote and magically near, frank and divinely enigmatic - one could hear now and then, as if released, an almost articulate spurt of vivid laughter, or the crack of a bat, or the clatter of a toy wagon, but it was all really too far for the eye to distinguish any movement in the lightly etched streets. I stood listening to that musical vibration from my lofty slope, to those flashes of separate cries with a kind of demure murmur for background, and then I knew that the hopelessly poignant thing was not Lolita's absence from my side, but the absence of her voice from that concord.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
He looks out the window at the falling snow, then turns and takes his wife in his arms, feeling grateful to be here even as he wonders what he is going to do with his life in strictly practical terms. For years he had trained himself to do one thing, and he did it well, but he doesn't know whether he wants to keep doing it for the rest of his life, for that matter, whether anyone will let him. He is still worrying when they go to bed. Feeling his wife's head nesting in the pillow below his shoulder, he is almost certain that they will find ways to manage. They've been learning to get by with less, and they'll keep learning. It seems to him as if they're taking a course in loss lately. And as he feels himself falling asleep he has an insight he believes is important, which he hopes he will remember in the morning, although it is one of those thoughts that seldom survive translation to the language of daylight hours: knowing that whatever plenty befalls them together or separately in the future, they will become more and more intimate with loss as the years accumulate, friends dying or slipping away undramatically into the crowded past, memory itself finally flickering and growing treacherous toward the end; knowing that even the children who may be in their future will eventually school them in the pain of growth and separation, as their own parents and mentors die off and leave them alone in the world, shivering at the dark threshold.
Jay McInerney (Brightness Falls (The Calloway Trilogy, #1))
BOWLS OF FOOD Moon and evening star do their slow tambourine dance to praise this universe. The purpose of every gathering is discovered: to recognize beauty and love what’s beautiful. “Once it was like that, now it’s like this,” the saying goes around town, and serious consequences too. Men and women turn their faces to the wall in grief. They lose appetite. Then they start eating the fire of pleasure, as camels chew pungent grass for the sake of their souls. Winter blocks the road. Flowers are taken prisoner underground. Then green justice tenders a spear. Go outside to the orchard. These visitors came a long way, past all the houses of the zodiac, learning Something new at each stop. And they’re here for such a short time, sitting at these tables set on the prow of the wind. Bowls of food are brought out as answers, but still no one knows the answer. Food for the soul stays secret. Body food gets put out in the open like us. Those who work at a bakery don’t know the taste of bread like the hungry beggars do. Because the beloved wants to know, unseen things become manifest. Hiding is the hidden purpose of creation: bury your seed and wait. After you die, All the thoughts you had will throng around like children. The heart is the secret inside the secret. Call the secret language, and never be sure what you conceal. It’s unsure people who get the blessing. Climbing cypress, opening rose, Nightingale song, fruit, these are inside the chill November wind. They are its secret. We climb and fall so often. Plants have an inner Being, and separate ways of talking and feeling. An ear of corn bends in thought. Tulip, so embarrassed. Pink rose deciding to open a competing store. A bunch of grapes sits with its feet stuck out. Narcissus gossiping about iris. Willow, what do you learn from running water? Humility. Red apple, what has the Friend taught you? To be sour. Peach tree, why so low? To let you reach. Look at the poplar, tall but without fruit or flower. Yes, if I had those, I’d be self-absorbed like you. I gave up self to watch the enlightened ones. Pomegranate questions quince, Why so pale? For the pearl you hid inside me. How did you discover my secret? Your laugh. The core of the seen and unseen universes smiles, but remember, smiles come best from those who weep. Lightning, then the rain-laughter. Dark earth receives that clear and grows a trunk. Melon and cucumber come dragging along on pilgrimage. You have to be to be blessed! Pumpkin begins climbing a rope! Where did he learn that? Grass, thorns, a hundred thousand ants and snakes, everything is looking for food. Don’t you hear the noise? Every herb cures some illness. Camels delight to eat thorns. We prefer the inside of a walnut, not the shell. The inside of an egg, the outside of a date. What about your inside and outside? The same way a branch draws water up many feet, God is pulling your soul along. Wind carries pollen from blossom to ground. Wings and Arabian stallions gallop toward the warmth of spring. They visit; they sing and tell what they think they know: so-and-so will travel to such-and-such. The hoopoe carries a letter to Solomon. The wise stork says lek-lek. Please translate. It’s time to go to the high plain, to leave the winter house. Be your own watchman as birds are. Let the remembering beads encircle you. I make promises to myself and break them. Words are coins: the vein of ore and the mine shaft, what they speak of. Now consider the sun. It’s neither oriental nor occidental. Only the soul knows what love is. This moment in time and space is an eggshell with an embryo crumpled inside, soaked in belief-yolk, under the wing of grace, until it breaks free of mind to become the song of an actual bird, and God.
Rumi (The Soul of Rumi: A New Collection of Ecstatic Poems)
Some very elegant dishes were served up to himself and a few more of us, whilst those placed before the rest of the company consisted simply of cheap dishes and scraps. There were, in small bottles, three different kinds of wine; not that the guest might take their choice, but that they might not have any option in their power; one kind being for himself, and for us; another sort for his lesser friends (for it seems he has degrees of friends), and the third for his own freedmen and ours. My neighbour . . . asked me if I approved the arrangement. Not at all, I told him. "Pray, then," he asked, "what is your method upon such occasions?" "Mine," I returned, "is to give all my visitors the same reception; for when I give an invitation, it is to entertain, not distinguish, my company: I place every man upon my own level whom I admit to my table." . . . He replied, "This must cost you a great deal." "Not in the least." "How can that be?" "Simply because, although my freedmen don't drink the same wine as myself, yet I drink the same as they do." And, no doubt about it, if a man is wise enough to moderate his appetite, he will not find it such a very expensive thing to share with all his visitors what he takes himself. Restrain it, keep it in, if you wish to be true economist. You will find temperance a far better way of saving than treating other people rudely can be. . . . Remember, then, nothing is more to be avoided than this modern alliance of luxury with meanness; odious enough when existing separate and distinct, but still more hateful where you meet with them together.
Pliny the Younger
There are cases that I just can't forget.....What it is. I don't know. I think it's the ones where something small changes everything. Where the tiniest act , the smallest space of time, the most inconsequential of decisions, changes a life. A split second separates the long-lost friends who either see or miss each other at an airport. And from that , a relationship does or does not develop, perhaps a lifetime partnership,, perhaps even children. Human beings who might or might not have existed. Whole lives built out of the most fragile of happenstance. And maybe that's why our lives are beautiful; why they're tragic. One perfect child can be born of an accidental encounter, and another lost to a split-second lapse in attention. If a motorist leans over to change a radio station at the same moment that it first occurs to a four year old that he can let go of his mother's hand as easily as hang onto it, and that if he lets go he will be across the road first, before his mother, and that she will certainly laugh and say, "How fast you are, Johnny!" If the child does this and the motorist does that , and if the world then changes forever and unbearably for everyone involved, then is that not life in its simplest form? That so little matters so much, and so much matters so little.
Laura McBride (We Are Called to Rise)
I also find Mill’s words to be of use when considering relationships. Often we want our friends, partners and people we love to be like us, because that allows us to feel validated and accepted. It is a powerful thing to find people in this world who share our values and instincts. But it is also important to celebrate the differences between our partners and us. Would we really want to be in a relationship where the other person reminds us every day of ourselves? Wouldn’t it just be like having rich chocolate cake every day? Do we even especially like people who are very much like us? Don’t we find ourselves cynical of their motives, believing we can see right through them? Love seems to come without a template. We may think we know what we want in a partner and then one day find ourselves in love for very different reasons. In the same way that differing, developed individuals contribute to Mill’s view of society and make it worth belonging to, so too the differences between people in a relationship can be precisely the substance of what makes it valuable. And then, rather than falling for that old fallacy of entering into a relationship thinking you will ‘change’ the other person to more comfortably reflect your values, you might see the qualities that separate them from you as precisely the features to celebrate. These qualities can complement our own: our laid-back approach to life can be challenged by the more active, dynamic ambition we might see in a partner, or vice versa. When the time comes, it will be useful to have them in mind as a role model. And to echo Mill: as our partners develop their own unique qualities, they can become of more value to themselves and therefore to the relationship as a whole.
Derren Brown (Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine)
While stationed in Fort Jackson, I experienced racial prejudice for the first time and came to the understanding that humans are not born with prejudice, but learn prejudice. Back home in South Dakota, I only knew one black American. The Scandinavians in my community treated him just like any other Swede; my family considered him a friend. My parents taught me, and I believed that all men are equal because God created all men in His image. One day during a week end furlough, I boarded a crowded city bus. As I walked down the aisle, I looked for an open seat. Looking towards the rear of the bus, I noticed three huge, young black men sitting on a bench in the back. I decided to squeeze onto the bench with them. As I sat down, a woman said in a very loud voice, "What is that white soldier doing in our part of the bus?" Neither my life experiences nor my education prepared me for what I experienced walking the streets of Fort Jackson. I saw water fountains for whites only, barbershops for blacks only, and separation for most aspects of Southern living. I discovered that the feelings of prejudice ran deeply amongst many of the people that we encountered. In fact, the blacks even trained separately from the whites during our military preparation, even though we all worked towards defending the United States of America.
Oliver Omanson (Prisoner of War Number 21860: The World War II Memoirs of Oliver Omanson)
at Dunkin’ Donuts, how did we move our anchor to Starbucks? This is where it gets really interesting. When Howard Shultz created Starbucks, he was as intuitive a businessman as Salvador Assael. He worked diligently to separate Starbucks from other coffee shops, not through price but through ambience. Accordingly, he designed Starbucks from the very beginning to feel like a continental coffeehouse. The early shops were fragrant with the smell of roasted beans (and better-quality roasted beans than those at Dunkin’ Donuts). They sold fancy French coffee presses. The showcases presented alluring snacks—almond croissants, biscotti, raspberry custard pastries, and others. Whereas Dunkin’ Donuts had small, medium, and large coffees, Starbucks offered Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti, as well as drinks with high-pedigree names like Caffè Americano, Caffè Misto, Macchiato, and Frappuccino. Starbucks did everything in its power, in other words, to make the experience feel different—so different that we would not use the prices at Dunkin’ Donuts as an anchor, but instead would be open to the new anchor that Starbucks was preparing for us. And that, to a great extent, is how Starbucks succeeded. GEORGE, DRAZEN, AND I were so excited with the experiments on coherent arbitrariness that we decided to push the idea one step farther. This time, we had a different twist to explore. Do you remember the famous episode in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, the one in which Tom turned the whitewashing of Aunt Polly’s fence into an exercise in manipulating his friends? As I’m sure you recall, Tom applied the paint with gusto, pretending to enjoy the job. “Do you call this work?” Tom told his friends. “Does a boy get a chance to whitewash a fence every day?” Armed with this new “information,” his friends discovered the joys of whitewashing a fence. Before long, Tom’s friends were not only paying him for the privilege, but deriving real pleasure from the task—a win-win outcome if there ever was one. From our perspective, Tom transformed a negative experience to a positive one—he transformed a situation in which compensation was required to one in which people (Tom’s friends) would pay to get in on the fun. Could we do the same? We
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
There is a story that Simonides was dining at the house of a wealthy nobleman named Scopas at Crannon in Thessaly, and chanted a lyric poem which he had composed in honor of his host, in which he followed the custom of the poets by including for decorative purposes a long passage referring to Castor and Pollux; whereupon Scopas with excessive meanness told him he would pay him half the fee agreed on for the poem, and if he liked he might apply for the balance to his sons of Tyndaraus, as they had gone halves in the panegyric. The story runs that a little later a message was brought to Simonides to go outside, as two young men were standing at the door who earnestly requested him to come out; so he rose from his seat and went out, and could not see anybody; but in the interval of his absence the roof of the hall where Scopas was giving the banquet fell in, crushing Scopas himself and his relations underneath the ruins and killing them; and when their friends wanted to bury them but were altogether unable to know them apart as they had been completely crushed, the story goes that Simonides was enabled by his recollection of the place in which each of them had been reclining at table to identify them for separate interment; and that this circumstance suggested to him the discovery of the truth that the best aid to clearness of memory consists in orderly arrangement. He inferred that persons desiring to train this faculty must select localities and form mental images of the facts they wish to remember and store those images in the localities, with the result that the arrangement of the localities will preserve the order of the facts, and the images of the facts will designate the facts themselves, and we shall employ the localities and images respectively as a wax writing tablet and the letters written on it.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Who I Am in Christ I Am Accepted   John 1:12 I am God’s child. John 15:15 I am Christ’s friend. Romans 5:1 I have been justified. 1 Corinthians 6:17 I am united with the Lord, and I am one spirit with Him. 1 Corinthians 6:20 I have been bought with a price. I belong to God. 1 Corinthians 12:27 I am a member of Christ’s Body. Ephesians 1:1 I am a saint. Ephesians 1:5 I have been adopted as God’s child. Ephesians 2:18 I have direct access to God through the Holy Spirit. Colossians 1:14 I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins. Colossians 2:10 I am complete in Christ. I Am Secure   Romans 8:1-2 I am free from condemnation. Romans 8:28 I am assured all things work together for good. Romans 8:31-34 I am free from any condemning charges against me. Romans 8:35-39 I cannot be separated from the love of God. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 I have been established, anointed and sealed by God. Philippians 1:6 I am confident that the good work God has begun in me will be perfected. Philippians 3:20 I am a citizen of heaven. Colossians 3:3 I am hidden with Christ in God. 2 Timothy 1:7 I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. Hebrews 4:16 I can find grace and mercy in time of need. 1 John 5:18 I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me. I Am Significant   Matthew 5:13-14 I am the salt and light of the earth. John 15:1,5 I am a branch of the true vine, a channel of His life. John 15:16 I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit. Acts 1:8 I am a personal witness of Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:16 I am God’s temple. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 I am a minister of reconciliation for God. 2 Corinthians 6:1 I am God’s coworker (see 1 Corinthians 3:9). Ephesians 2:6 I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realm. Ephesians 2:10 I am God’s workmanship. Ephesians 3:12 I may approach God with freedom and confidence. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Neil T. Anderson (Victory Over the Darkness: Realize the Power of Your Identity in Christ)
Finally, as the sky began to grow light in the morning, I’d feel that I might be drifting off. But that wasn’t sleep. My fingertips were just barely brushing against the outermost edge of sleep. And all the while, my mind was awake. I would feel a hint of drowsiness, but my mind was there, in its own room, on the other side of a transparent wall, watching me. My physical self was drifting through the feeble morning light, and all the while it could feel my mind staring, breathing, close beside it. I was both a body on the verge of sleep and a mind determined to stay awake. The incomplete drowsiness would continue on and off all day. My head was always foggy. I couldn’t get an accurate fix on the things around me—their distance or mass or texture. The drowsiness would overtake me at regular, wavelike intervals: on the subway, in the classroom, at the diner table. My mind would slip away from my body. The world would sway soundlessly. I would drop things. My pencil or my purse or my fork would clatter to the floor. All I wanted was to throw myself down and sleep. But I couldn’t. The wakefulness was always there beside me. I could feel its chilling shadow. It was the shadow of myself. Weird, I would think as the drowsiness overtook me, I’m in my own shadow. I would walk and eat and talk to people inside my drowsiness. And the strangest thing was that no one noticed. I lost fifteen pounds that month, and no one noticed. No one in my family, not one of my friends or classmates, realized that I was going through life asleep. It was literally true: I was going through life asleep. My body had no more feeling than a drowned corpse. My very existence, my life in the world, seemed like a hallucination. A strong wind would make me think that my body was about to be blown to the end of the earth, to some land I had never seen or heard of, where my mind and body would separate forever. Hold tight, I would tell myself, but there was nothing for me to hold on to.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
As soon as two people have resolved to give up their togetherness, the resulting pain with its heaviness or particularity is already so completely part of the life of each individual that the other has to sternly deny himself to become sentimental and feel pity. The beginning of the agreed-upon separation is marked precisely by this pain, and its first challenge will be that this pain already belongs separately to each of the two individuals. This pain is an essential condition of what the now solitary and most lonely individual will have to create in the future out of his reclaimed life. If two people managed not to get stuck in hatred during their honest struggles with each other, that is, in the edges of their passion that became ragged and sharp when it cooled and set, if they could stay fluid, active, flexible, and changeable in all of their interactions and relations, and, in a word, if a mutually human and friendly consideration remained available to them, then their decision to separate cannot easily conjure disaster and terror. When it is a matter of a separation, pain should already belong in its entirety to that other life from which you wish to separate. Otherwise the two individuals will continually become soft toward each other, causing helpless and unproductive suffering. In the process of a firmly agreed-upon separation, however, the pain itself constitutes an important investment in the renewal and fresh start that is to be achieved on both sides. People in your situation might have to communicate as friends. But then these two separated lives should remain without any knowledge of the other for a period and exist as far apart and as detached from the other as possible. This is necessary for each life to base itself firmly on its new requirements and circumstances. Any subsequent contact (which may then be truly new and perhaps very happy) has to remain a matter of unpredictable design and direction. If you find that you scare yourself.
Rainer Maria Rilke (Letters on Life)
MY FATHER If I have to write a poem about my father it has to be about integrity and kindness — the selfless kind of kindness that is so very rare I am sure there will be many people living somewhere who must be as kind as him but what I mean to say is I have not met one yet and when it comes to helping others he always helps too much and as the saying goes — help someone, you earn a friend. help someone too much, you make an enemy. — so you know the gist of what I’m trying to say here anyways I was talking about the poem about my father it has to be about passion and hard work because you see you cannot separate these things from him they are part of him as his two eyes and two hands and his heart and his soul and his whole being and you cannot separate wind and waves or living and the universe or earth and heavens and although he never got any award from bureaucracy the students he taught ages ago still touch his feet and some of them are the people you have to make an appointment to meet even if it is for two minutes of their time and that’s a reward for him bigger than any other that some of his colleagues got for their flattery and also I have to write about reliability as well because you see as the sun always rises and the snowflakes are always six-folds and the spring always comes and the petals of a sunflower and every flower follows the golden ratio of symmetry my father never fails to keep his promise I have to mention the rage as well that he always carries inside him like a burning fire for wrongdoings for injustice and now he carries a bitterness too for people who used him good and discarded as it always happens with every good man in our world of humans and you must be thinking he has learned his lessons well you go to him — it does not matter who you are if he knows you or you are a stranger from other side of the world — and ask for his help he will be happy to do so as you must know people never change not their soul in any case.
Neena H. Brar
People who think that queer life consists of sex without intimacy are usually seeing only a tiny part of the picture, and seeing it through homophobic stereotype. The most fleeting sexual encounter is, in its way intimate. And in the way many gay men and lesbians live, quite casual sexual relations can develop into powerful and enduring friendships. Friendships, in turn, can cross into sexual relations and back. Because gay social life is not as ritualized and institutionalized as straight life, each relation is an adventure in nearly un-charted territory—whether it is between two gay men, or two lesbians, or a gay man and a lesbian, or among three or more queers, or between gay men and the straight women whose commitment to queer culture brings them the punishment of the "fag hag" label. There are almost as many kinds of relationship as there are people in combination. Where there are -patterns, we learn them from other queers, not from our-parents or schools or the state. Between tricks and lovers and exes and friends and fuckbuddies and bar friends and bar friends' tricks and tricks' bar friends and gal pals and companions "in the life," queers have an astonishing range of intimacies. Most have no labels. Most receive no public recognition. Many of these relations are difficult because the rules have to be invented as we go along. Often desire and unease add to their intensity, and their unpredictability. They can be complex and bewildering, in a way that arouses fear among many gay people, and tremendous resistance and resentment from many straight people. Who among us would give them up? Try standing at a party of queer friends and charting all the histories, sexual and nonsexual, among the people in the room. (In some circles this is a common party sport already.) You will realize that only a fine and rapidly shifting line separates sexual culture from many other relations of durability and care. The impoverished vocabulary of straight culture tells us that people should be either husbands and wives or (nonsexual) friends. Marriage marks that line. It is not the way many queers live. If there is such a thing as a gay way of life, it consists in these relations, a welter of intimacies outside the framework of professions and institutions and ordinary social obligations. Straight culture has much to learn from it, and in many ways has already begun to learn from it. Queers should be insisting on teaching these lessons. Instead, the marriage issue, as currently framed, seems to be a way of denying recognition to these relations, of streamlining queer relations into the much less troubling division of couples from friends.
Michael Warner (The Trouble with Normal: Sex, Politics, and the Ethics of Queer Life)
Pathways toward a New Shabbat Do 1. Stay at home. Spend quality time with family and real friends. 2. Celebrate with others: at the table, in the synagogue, with friends or community. 3. Study or read something that will edify, challenge, or make you grow. 4. Be alone. Take some time for yourself. Check in with yourself. Review your week. Ask yourself where you are in your life. 5. Mark the beginning and end of this sacred time by lighting candles and making kiddush on Friday night and saying havdalah on Saturday night. Don’t 6. Don’t do anything you have to do for your work life. This includes obligatory reading, homework for kids (even without writing!), unwanted social obligations, and preparing for work as well as doing your job itself. 7. Don’t spend money. Separate completely from the commercial culture that surrounds us so much. This includes doing business of all sorts. No calls to the broker, no following up on ads, no paying of bills. It can all wait. 8. Don’t use the computer. Turn off the iPhone or smartphone or whatever device has replaced it by the time you read this. Live and breathe for a day without checking messages. Declare your freedom from this new master of our minds and our time. Find the time for face-to-face conversations with people around you, without Facebook. 9. Don’t travel. Avoid especially commercial travel and places like airports, hotel check-ins, and similar depersonalizing encounters. Stay free of situations in which people are likely to tell you to “have a nice day” (Shabbat already is a nice day, thank you). 10. Don’t rely on commercial or canned video entertainment, including the TV as well as the computer screen. Discover what there is to do in life when you are not being entertained.
Arthur Green (Judaism's Ten Best Ideas: A Brief Guide for Seekers)
We come into contact with people only with our exteriors—physically and externally; yet each of us walks about with a great wealth of interior life, a private and secret self. We are, in reality, somewhat split in two, the self and the body; the one hidden, the other open. The child learns very quickly to cultivate this private self because it puts a barrier between him and the demands of the world. He learns he can keep secrets—at first an excruciating, intolerable burden: it seems that the outer world has every right to penetrate into his self and that the parents could automatically do so if they wished—they always seem to know just what he is thinking and feeling. But then he discovers that he can lie and not be found out: it is a great and liberating moment, this anxious first lie—it represents the staking out of his claim to an integral inner self, free from the prying eyes of the world. By the time we grow up we become masters at dissimulation, at cultivating a self that the world cannot probe. But we pay a price. After years of turning people away, of protecting our inner self, of cultivating it by living in a different world, of furnishing this world with our fantasies and dreams—we find that we are hopelessly separated from everyone else. We have become victims of our own art. We touch people on the outsides of their bodies, and they us, but we cannot get at their insides and cannot reveal our insides to them. This is one of the great tragedies of our interiority—it is utterly personal and unrevealable. Often we want to say something unusually intimate to a spouse, a parent, a friend, communicate something of how we are really feeling about a sunset, who we really feel we are—only to fall strangely and miserably flat. Once in a great while we succeed, sometimes more with one person, less or never with others. But the occasional breakthrough only proves the rule. You reach out with a disclosure, fail, and fall back bitterly into yourself. We emit huge globs of love to our parents and spouses, and the glob slithers away in exchanges of words that are somehow beside the point of what we are trying to say. People seem to keep bumping up against each other with their exteriors and falling away from each other. The cartoonist Jules Feiffer is the modern master of this aspect of the human tragedy. Take even the sexual act—the most intimate merger given to organisms. For most people, even for their entire lives, it is simply a joining of exteriors. The insides melt only in the moment of orgasm, but even this is brief, and a melting is not a communication. It is a physical overcoming of separateness, not a symbolic revelation and justification of one’s interior. Many people pursue sex precisely because it is a mystique of the overcoming of the separateness of the inner world; and they go from one partner to another because they can never quite achieve “it.” So the endless interrogations: “What are you thinking about right now—me? Do you feel what I feel? Do you love me?
Ernest Becker (The Birth and Death of Meaning: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on the Problem of Man)
But you're worried I'll get in trouble?" I try not to show how much this pleases me. I've managed to ignore him for days now and here I sit. Lapping up his attention like a neglected puppy. My voice takes on an edge. "Why do you care? I've ignored you for days." His smile fades. He looks serious, mockingly so. "Yeah. You got to stop that." I swallow back a laugh. "I can't." "Why?" There's no humor in his eyes now, no mockery. "You like me. You want to be with me." "I never said-" "You didn't have to." I inhale sharply. "Don't do this." He looks at me so fiercely, so intently. Angry again. "I don't have friends. Do you see my hang with anyone besides my jerk cousins? That's for a reason. I keep people away on purpose," he growls. "But then you came along..." I frown and shake my head. His expression softens then, pulls at some part of me. His gaze travels my face, warming the core of me. "Whoever you are, Jacinda, you're someone I have to let in." He doesn't say anything for a while, just studies me in that intense way. His nostrils flare, and again it's like he's taking in my scent or something. He continues, "Somehow, I think I know you. From the first moment I saw you, I felt that I knew you." The words run through me, reminding me of when he let me escape in the mountains. He's good. Protective. I have nothing to fear from him, but everything to fear from his family. I scoot closer, the draw of him too great. My warming core, the vibrations inside my chest feel so natural, so effortless around him. I know I need to be careful, exercise restraint, but it feels too good. The pulse at his neck skips against his flesh. "Jacinda." My skin ripples at his hoarse whisper. I stare up at him, waiting. He slides down to land solidly on my step. He brings his face close to mine, angles his head. His breath is hard. Fast. Fills the space, the inch separating us. I touch his cheek, see my hand shake, and quickly pull it back. He grabs my wrist, places my palm back against his cheek, and closes his eyes like he's in agony. Or bliss. Or maybe both. Like he's never been touched before. My heart squeezes. Like I've never touched anyone before. "Don't stay away from me anymore." I stop myself, just barely, from telling him I won't. I can't promise that. Can't lie. He opens his eyes. Stares starkly, bleakly. "I need you." He says this like it doesn't make sense to him. Like it's the worst possible thing. A misery he must endure. I smile, understanding. Because it's the same for me. "I know." Then he kisses me.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life are common themes in the American culture today. Folks sometimes mistake my meaning when I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, because they all too often rush to drop everything that is weighing them down. They quit the job, ditch the unhappy marriage, cut out negative friends and family, get out of Dodge, etc. I do not advocate such hastiness; in fact, I believe that rash decision-making leads to more problems further down the road. Another unsatisfying job manifests; another unhappy relationship results. These people want a new environment, yet the same negative energy always seems to occupy it. This is because transformation is all about the internal shift, not the external. Any blame placed on outside sources for our unhappiness will forever perpetuate that unhappiness. Pointing the finger is giving away your power of choice and the ability to create our best life. We choose: “That person is making me unhappy” vs. “I make myself happy.” When you are in unhappy times of lack and feelings of separation – great! Sit there and be with it. Find ways to be content with little. Find ways to be happy with your Self. As we reflect on the lives of mystics past and present, it is not the things they possess or the relationships they share that bring them enlightenment – their light is within. The same light can bring us unwavering happiness (joy). Love, Peace, Joy – these three things all come from within and have an unwavering flame – life source – that is not dependent on the conditions of the outside world. This knowing is the power and wisdom that the mystics teach us that we are all capable of achieving. When I say, “You have the freedom of choice and the ability to create your best life”, I am not referring to external conditions; I am referring to the choice you have to look inward and discover the ability to transform the lead of the soul into gold. Transformation is an inner journey of the soul. Why? Because, as we mentioned above, wherever we go, ourselves go with us. Thus, quitting the job, dumping relationships, etc. will not make us happy because we have forgotten the key factor that makes or breaks our happiness: ourselves. When we find, create, and maintain peace, joy, and love within ourselves, we then gain the ability to embrace the external world with the same emotions, perspective, and vibration. This ability is a form of enlightenment. It is the modern man’s enlightenment that transforms an unsatisfying life into one of fulfillment.
Alaric Hutchinson (Living Peace: Essential Teachings for Enriching Life)
Competition is the spice of sports; but if you make spice the whole meal you'll be sick. The simplest single-celled organism oscillates to a number of different frequencies, at the atomic, molecular, sub-cellular, and cellular levels. Microscopic movies of these organisms are striking for the ceaseless, rhythmic pulsation that is revealed. In an organism as complex as a human being, the frequencies of oscillation and the interactions between those frequencies are multitudinous. -George Leonard Learning any new skill involves relatively brief spurts of progress, each of which is followed by a slight decline to a plateau somewhat higher in most cases than that which preceded it…the upward spurts vary; the plateaus have their own dips and rises along the way…To take the master’s journey, you have to practice diligently, striving to hone your skills, to attain new levels of competence. But while doing so–and this is the inexorable–fact of the journey–you also have to be willing to spend most of your time on a plateau, to keep practicing even when you seem to be getting nowhere. (Mastery, p. 14-15). Backsliding is a universal experience. Every one of us resists significant change, no matter whether it’s for the worse or for the better. Our body, brain and behavior have a built-in tendency to stay the same within rather narrow limits, and to snap back when changed…Be aware of the way homeostasis works…Expect resistance and backlash. Realize that when the alarm bells start ringing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sick or crazy or lazy or that you’ve made a bad decision in embarking on the journey of mastery. In fact, you might take these signals as an indication that your life is definitely changing–just what you’ve wanted….Be willing to negotiate with your resistance to change. Our preoccupation with goals, results, and the quick fix has separated us from our own experiences…there are all of those chores that most of us can’t avoid: cleaning, straightening, raking leaves, shopping for groceries, driving the children to various activities, preparing food, washing dishes, washing the car, commuting, performing the routine, repetitive aspects of our jobs….Take driving, for instance. Say you need to drive ten miles to visit a friend. You might consider the trip itself as in-between-time, something to get over with. Or you could take it as an opportunity for the practice of mastery. In that case, you would approach your car in a state of full awareness…Take a moment to walk around the car and check its external condition, especially that of the tires…Open the door and get in the driver’s seat, performing the next series of actions as a ritual: fastening the seatbelt, adjusting the seat and the rearview mirror…As you begin moving, make a silent affirmation that you’ll take responsibility for the space all around your vehicle at all times…We tend to downgrade driving as a skill simply because it’s so common. Actually maneuvering a car through varying conditions of weather, traffic, and road surface calls for an extremely high level of perception, concentration, coordination, and judgement…Driving can be high art…Ultimately, nothing in this life is “commonplace,” nothing is “in between.” The threads that join your every act, your every thought, are infinite. All paths of mastery eventually merge. [Each person has a] vantage point that offers a truth of its own. We are the architects of creation and all things are connected through us. The Universe is continually at its work of restructuring itself at a higher, more complex, more elegant level . . . The intention of the universe is evolution. We exist as a locus of waves that spreads its influence to the ends of space and time. The whole of a thing is contained in each of its parts. We are completely, firmly, absolutely connected with all of existence. We are indeed in relationship to all that is.
George Leonard
This isn’t some libertarian mistrust of government policy, which is healthy in any democracy. This is deep skepticism of the very institutions of our society. And it’s becoming more and more mainstream. We can’t trust the evening news. We can’t trust our politicians. Our universities, the gateway to a better life, are rigged against us. We can’t get jobs. You can’t believe these things and participate meaningfully in society. Social psychologists have shown that group belief is a powerful motivator in performance. When groups perceive that it’s in their interest to work hard and achieve things, members of that group outperform other similarly situated individuals. It’s obvious why: If you believe that hard work pays off, then you work hard; if you think it’s hard to get ahead even when you try, then why try at all? Similarly, when people do fail, this mind-set allows them to look outward. I once ran into an old acquaintance at a Middletown bar who told me that he had recently quit his job because he was sick of waking up early. I later saw him complaining on Facebook about the “Obama economy” and how it had affected his life. I don’t doubt that the Obama economy has affected many, but this man is assuredly not among them. His status in life is directly attributable to the choices he’s made, and his life will improve only through better decisions. But for him to make better choices, he needs to live in an environment that forces him to ask tough questions about himself. There is a cultural movement in the white working class to blame problems on society or the government, and that movement gains adherents by the day. Here is where the rhetoric of modern conservatives (and I say this as one of them) fails to meet the real challenges of their biggest constituents. Instead of encouraging engagement, conservatives increasingly foment the kind of detachment that has sapped the ambition of so many of my peers. I have watched some friends blossom into successful adults and others fall victim to the worst of Middletown’s temptations—premature parenthood, drugs, incarceration. What separates the successful from the unsuccessful are the expectations that they had for their own lives. Yet the message of the right is increasingly: It’s not your fault that you’re a loser; it’s the government’s fault. My dad, for example, has never disparaged hard work, but he mistrusts some of the most obvious paths to upward mobility. When
J.D. Vance (Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis)
Dear Sawyer and Quin, If you ever read this and I'm gone I want you to know something that has been weighing on me. I watch you two play and it can be so sad sometimes. You two have been best friends since Sawyer's birth. Always inseparable. It's been adorable , but comes with its challenges. I'm worried when I watch you boys. Quinton, you are always driven by your ego. You're strong and talented, but much too determined to beat down everyone in your efforts to be the best. You push yourself to win a competition, then shove it in someone's face. I’ve rarely seen you compliment others, but you always give yourself a pat on the back. You don't play anything for the love of it, you play to win and normally do. I've seen you tear down your brother so many times just to feel good about yourself. You don't have to do that, dear. You don't have to spend your life trying to prove that you're amazing. One day you'll fail and be alone because you've climbed to the top of a pyramid with only enough room for yourself. Don't let it get to that point and if you do, learn humility from your brother. He could do without so much of it. Sawyer, just because you're most often the underdog and the peaceful introspective kid, don't think I'm letting you off the hook. Your humility has become your worst enemy. It's so intense that I wonder if it will be your vice one day, instead of your greatest virtue. It's one thing to believe you are below all men, even when you're not, but it's another thing to be crippled by fear and to no longer try. Sometimes , dear, I think you fear being good at something because you've tasted the bitterness of being the one who comes in last and you don't want to make others feel that way. That's sweet of you and I smile inside when I see you pretending to lose when you race your younger cousins , but if you always let people beat you they may never learn to work hard for something they want. It's okay to win, just win for the right reasons and always encourage those who lose. Oh, and Sawyer, I hope one day you read this. One day when it matters. If so, remember that the bottom of a mountain can be just as lonely as the top. I hope the two of you can learn to climb together one day. As I'm writing this you are trying to climb the big pine tree out back. Quin is at the top, rejoicing in his victory and taunting Sawyer. And Sawyer is at the bottom, afraid to get hurt and afraid to be sad about it. I'm going to go talk to you two separately now. I hope my words mean something. Love you boys, Mom
Marilyn Grey (When the City Sleeps (Unspoken #6))
up for it, and I’m sorry. That’s not enough. You’re going to search until you find something, and you’re going to tell me. Right now. Sheri. Please. You do it now or we’re gone. You give me some way to have some sympathy for you as I stand in this nice house, all lovingly redone, and think about the broken house you left us in, with its leaky roof and no heat and no insulation and nothing. Tell your sob story about the fucking war, whatever it was that my mom thought you were so broken about. My grandfather closed his eyes. No story ever explains. But I’ll give you what you want. I think I know the moment you want, because I made a kind of decision. There was some change. But I can’t start the story at the beginning. I’ve never been able to do that. I have to start at the end and then go back, and it doesn’t finish, because you can go back forever. Do it, my mother said. I don’t think Caitlin should hear. She can hear. Okay. You’re her mother. That’s right. So I won’t give the awful details, but I was lying in a pile of bodies. My friends. The closest friends I’ve ever had. Not piled there on purpose, but just the way it ended up because I had been working on the axle, lying on the ground. And the thing is, the war was over. It had been over for days, and we were laughing and a bit drunk, telling jokes. There was something unbearable about the fact that we’d all be going our separate ways now. The truth is that we didn’t want to leave. We wanted the war over, but we didn’t want what we had together to be over. I think we all had some sense that this was the closest we’d ever be to anyone, and that our families might feel like strangers now. So that’s it? You couldn’t be a father and husband because you weren’t done being a buddy? No. No. It’s the way it happened, in a moment that was supposed to be safe. After every moment of every day in fear for years, we were finally safe, and that’s when the slugs came and I watched my friends torn apart and landing on me, dying. That’s the point. We were supposed to be safe. And with your mother, too, I was supposed to be safe. A wife, a family. The story doesn’t make any sense unless you know every moment before it, every time we thought we were going to die, all the times we weren’t safe. You can’t just be told about that. You have to feel it, how long one night can be, and then all of them put together, hundreds of nights and then more, and there’s a kind of deal that’s made, a deal with god. You do certain terrible things, you endure things, because there’s a bargain made. And then when god says the deal’s off later, after you’ve already paid, and you see your friends ripped through, yanked like puppets on a day that was safe, and you find out your wife is going to die young, and you get to watch her dying, something that again is going to be for years, hundreds of nights more, all deals are off.
David Vann (Aquarium)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways. I walked proudly out of the church, the new wife of Marlboro Man. When we exited the same doors through which my dad and I had walked thirty minutes earlier, Marlboro Man’s arm wriggled loose from my grasp and instinctively wrapped around my waist, where it belonged. The other arm followed, and before I knew it we were locked in a sweet, solidifying embrace, relishing the instant of solitude before our wedding party--sisters, cousins, brothers, friends--followed closely behind. We were married. I drew a deep, life-giving breath and exhaled. The sweating had finally stopped. And the robust air-conditioning of the church had almost completely dried my lily-white Vera.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)